Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Columbia Slope Watershed, Vancouver, Washington"
Includes ... Columbia Slope Watershed ... Columbia Springs ...
Image, 2004, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.

Columbia Slope Watershed ...
According to the Clark County "Water Resources & Clean Water Program" website (2007),   The 25-square-mile Columbia Slope watershed consists of a narrow band of hillsides that drain to the Columbia River between downtown Vancouver and Lacamas Creek. Its northern boundary generally follows Mill Plain Boulevard and hilltops in Camas, including Prune Hill.

Springs are plentiful in the gravel deposits along the watershed. The City of Vancouver once used springs near Ellsworth as a water source, and originally the water for the Vancouver Trout Hatchery came from spings issuing forth from the hillsides.

Fisher and Joseph's creeks are the only named creeks in the watershed. Fisher Creek is near the boundary of Camas and Vancouver. Joseph's Creek flows only a short distance from the marshes east of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery to the Columbia River.

Springs along the Columbia Slope ...
"... Many springs flow from a six-mile stretch of the Columbia Slope between Marine Park in Vancouver and the Fisher's Landing area near Camas. Most of the springs flow from gravel deposits in the hillsides above the Columbia River.

Ellsworth Springs, west of the Interstate 205 bridge, was a source of drinking water for the city for many years. In 1973, the city stopped using the springs because of elevated nitrate concentrations, most likely from septic tanks in large areas of east Vancouver. From the late 1800s to 1973, Ellsworth Springs supplied as much as four million gallons per day of the city of Vancouver's drinking water.

In 1949, the U.S. Geological Survey found that Columbia Slope springs discharged approximately 35 cubic feet of water per second. Salmon and Lacamas creeks flow at about this rate during the summer. In a 1988 update, the Geological Survey found that Ellsworth and a few other springs near I-205 flowed at rates similar to those measured in 1949. The other springs had a 40 percent decrease in flow. The large springs that supplied cold, clear water to Vancouver Trout Hatchery had decreased to 5 and 20 percent, which forced the hatchery to drill wells in the late 1980s. ... "

Source:    Clark County "Water Resources & Clean Water Program" website, 2007.

Vancouver Trout Hatchery ...
The Vancouver Trout Hatchery is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 113, just upstream of the Interstate 205 Bridge, and two miles downsteam from Fishers Landing. The Hatchery lies within the Columbia Slope Watershed. It can be reached from the Evergreen Highway, north of Washington State Highway 14. Today the Vancouver Trout Hatchery is also home to the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, the Biddle Natural Reserve, Biddle Lakes, and numerous hiking trails. The Hatchery is under control of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). This area was once the home to the a Hudson's Bay Company sawmill.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...

Vancouver PlainsReturn to

*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

  • Clark County "Water Resources & Clean Water Program" 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.
August 2011