Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Caterpillar Island and Kadow's Marina, Vancouver Lowlands, Washington"
Includes ... Caterpillar Island ... "Upper Willow Bar" ... Kadow's Marina ... Langsdorf Landing ... Fisherman's Slough ...
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Caterpillar Island, Washington, with "boxy boat". Image taken September 22, 2007.


Caterpillar Island ...
Caterpillar Island is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 98. The island is a long not-too-wide island separated from Shillapoo Wildlife Area by a narrow slough known as "Fisherman's Slough". Upstream of Caterpillar Island on the Washington side is Frenchman's Bar Park, Hewlett Point, and Blurock Landing while downstream is Tina Bar, where, in February 1980, some of skyjacker D.B. Cooper's money was found, and the Fazio Brothers Sand Company. Further downstream is Knapp Point and Knapp Landing. Kadow's Marina and Langsdorf Landing are located on the Washington mainland across from Caterpillar island and Sauvie Island is located on the Oregon side across the Columbia. Caterpillar Island is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (2002 information), and it's four picnic sites are accessible only by boat.

Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Caterpillar Island and Fisherman's Slough, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington. View from Shillapoo area boat ramp. Image taken September 22, 2007.


Early Caterpillar Island ...
The 1863 Washington Territory Cadastral Survey (Tax Survey) for T3N R1W shows George Beaty and David Sturgess having Donation Land Claims covering most of the area of today's Caterpillar Island. David Sturgess (Claim No.46, 164.60 acres) was to the south and George Beaty's claim (Claim No.45, 176.45 acres) was to the north. There was no island depicted.

The 1888, U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey's "Columbia River Sheet No.6, Fales Landing to Portland" (Chart No.6145) has Post Office Lake named. Other nearby features are "Lake River" (Lake River) and "Shallowpool Lake", today's Shillapoo Lake located south of Post Office Lake. Between Shillapoo Lake and the Columbia River is a stretch labeled "Upper Willow Bar" which runs from "Hewlett's Pt." (Hewlett Point) south to "Round Lake" (still Round Lake) north. "Upper Willow Bar" is today's Frenchmans Bar and Caterpillar Island. On the Oregon side across from Post Office Lake is "Lower Willow Bar", the location of today's Willow Bar Islands, and "Willow Bar Pt.", today's Willow Point. "Lower Willow Bar" is shown as a mixture of small islands and sloughs.


Views ...

Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Caterpillar Island and Fisherman's Slough. View from Shillapoo area boat ramp. Image taken September 22, 2007.
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Shore of Caterpillar Island with boat in Fisherman's Slough. View from Shillapoo area boat ramp. Image taken September 22, 2007.
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Boxy boat" passing Caterpillar Island (left). The Columbia River can be seen in the distance on the right. Image taken September 22, 2007.
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Caterpillar Island (left), Fisherman's Slough (foreground), and sailboat on the Columbia River (distance). View from Shillapoo area boat ramp. Image taken September 22, 2007.
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Langsdorf Landing boat ramp (also known as the Shillapoo ramp) across from Caterpillar Island. Image taken September 22, 2007.


Caterpillar Island, etc.

  • Kadow's Marina ...
  • Langsdorf Landing ...


Kadow's Marina ...
Kadow's Marina is located on the Washington side across from Caterpillar Island. The marina had a movie role in the 2008 vampire movie "Twilight".

Image, 2009, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kadow's Marina, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington. Image taken July 1, 2009.
Image, 2009, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kadow's Marina, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington. Image taken July 1, 2009.
Image, 2009, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kadow's Marina, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington. Image taken July 1, 2009.
Image, 2009, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Kadow's Marina, Vancouver Lake Lowlands, Washington. Image taken July 1, 2009.
Image, 2007, Caterpillar Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Houseboats in Fisherman's Slough, Kadow's Marina, with Caterpillar Island behind. Image taken September 22, 2007.


Langsdorf Landing ...
Downstream of Kadow's Marina and across from Caterpillar Island is the Langsdorf Landing boat ramp and public fishing area. Langsdorf Landing was donated by the Langsdorf family and became a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's new boat landing in 1998. Langsdorf Landing boat ramp is also known as the "Shillapoo ramp".

Image, 2011, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Langsdorf Landing information board. Image taken November 28, 2011.
Image, 2011, Kadow's Marina, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Langsdorf Landing boat ramp. View looking downstream towards the Columbia River. The northern tip of Caterpillar Island is on the left. Image taken November 28, 2011.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, March 30, 1806 ...
we got under way verry early [from their camp near Wapato Portage] and had not proceeded to the head of the island [Bachelor Island] before we met with the three men of the Clan-nar-min-a-mon's who met us yesterday brackfast at the upper point of the Island [Bachelor Island] we met Several of the Clackstar and Cath-lah-cum-up in two canoes. Soon after we were overtaken by Several Canoes of different tribes who reside on each Side of the river the three above Tribes and the Clh-in-na-ta cathy-lah-nah-qui-up & Cath-lah-com-mah-tup reside on each Side of Wappato inlet [Multnomah Channel] and back of Wappato Island [Sauvie Island] which Island is formed by a Small Chanel which passes from the Lower part of Image Canoe Island [Hayden Island] into an inlet which makes in from the S W. Side, and receves the water of a Creek which heads with the Kil a mox River. this wappato Island [Sauvie Island] is about 18 or 20 Miles long and in places from 6 to 10 miles wide high & furtile with ponds on different parts of it in which the nativs geather Wappato. nearly opposit the upper point of the Isld. behing which we encamped last night, or on the Wappato Isld. is Several Camps of the nativs catching Sturgion. about 5 miles Still higher up and on the N E. Side we halted for brackfast at the place which We had encamped the 4th of November last [near Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge]. here we were visited by several canoes of Indians from two Towns a Short distance above on the Wappato Island [Sauvie Island]. the 1st of those Tribes Call themselves Clan-nah-quah and Situated about 2 miles above us, the other about a mile above Call themselves Mult-no-mah ...     at 10 a. m. we Set out and had not proceeded far before we came to a landing place where there was Several large canoes hauled up, and Sitting in a canoe, appearantly waiting our arival with a view to join the fleet indian who was then along Side of us. this man informed he was a Shoto and that his nation resided a little distance from the river. we landed and one of the indians pointed to the Shoto village which is Situated back of Pond [Vancouver Lake] which lies parrelal with the river on the N E. Side nearly opposit the Clan-nah quah village. here we were also joined by Several Canoes loaded with the natives from the Island who Continued to accompany us untill about 4 oClock when they all returned and we proceeded on to the place the Indians Stole my Tomahawk 4th Novr. last [Hayden Island] and Encamped in a Small Prarie ["Jolie Prairie" where Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark would some day be located] above a large Pond on N. E and opposit the Center of image Canoe Island [Hayden Island]. capt Lewis walked out and Saw Several deer. Jo. Field Shot at Elk he killed and brought in a fine duck. ...     we made 22 Miles only to day the wind and a Strong current being against us all day, with rain. discovered a high mountain S E. Covered with Snow which we call Mt. Jefferson [Mount Jefferson, Oregon]





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources: City of Vancouver website, 2007; "Columbian", February 17, 1998; NOAA Office of Chart Surveys website, 2005; U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2007.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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December 2011