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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Elochoman River and Slough, Washington"
Includes ... Elochoman River ... Elochoman Slough ...
Image, 2005, Elochoman River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Elochoman River, Washington. Looking downstream. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Elochoman River ...
The Elochoman River heads in Elochoman Lake and flows southwest to merge with Elochoman Slough about 2 miles north-northwest of Cathlamet, Washington. The Slough then merges with the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 36 at the town of Cathlamet.

Elochoman Slough ...
The Elochoman Slough begins at Cathlamet, Washington and flows through the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, separating the Hunting Islands from the Washington shore. The mouth of the Slough ends at Hornstra Beach. Views of the Elochoman Slough can be had following Steamboat Slough Road.

Elochoman River Drainage ...
The Elochoman River is characterized by the rugged area of the Willapa Hills, which occupy a major portion of the basin along with the valley plains along the Columbia River. The geology in the basin is a mix of sedimentary and volcanics. The drainage basin is approximately 73 square miles, with the length of the Elochoman River being approximately 15 miles long. (Information courtesy of Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2004)

Views of the Elochoman Slough ...

Image, 2005, Elochoman Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Elochoman Slough, Washington. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge, with one of the Hunting Islands in the background. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2004, Hunting Islands and Elochoman Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
One of the Hunting Islands and the Elochoman Slough. As seen from the Washington State part of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. Image taken April 9, 2004.
Image, 2000, Elochoman Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Elochoman Slough, Washington, looking towards mouth. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge, with one of the Hunting Islands on the left. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2000, Elochoman Slough, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mouth of the Elochoman Slough, Washington, looking towards the Columbia River. View from the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge. One of the Hunting Islands on the left, and Welch Island (or perhaps Tenasillahee Island) is in the distance. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2005, Head of the Elochoman Slough, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Head of the Elochoman Slough at Cathlamet, Washington. Image taken July 28, 2005.
Image, 2005, Head of the Elochoman Slough, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking downstream from head of the Elochoman Slough at Cathlamet, Washington. Image taken July 28, 2005.


Early Elochoman River ...
The Elochoman River is named after the Indian name for the river.

Robert Hitchman in Place Names of Washington (1985) states:

"... The many names have been applied to this river indicate the difficulty of translating Indian names into English. In 1841, Wilkes charted the stream as Oluman Creek. Other spellings that are of record include: Alockaman, Alochaman, Alochoman, Alokomin, Elochoman, Elockamin, and Clokoman. An early pioneer name was Strong's River. ..."

In 1841 Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition called today's Elochoman Slough "Oluman Creek" and he called nearby Skamokawa Creek "Pimeca Creek".

"... Two creeks enter on the north shore, the Pimeca and Oluman. They afford good water: at this part the banks are low and marshy, but soon rise in hills. ..." [Wilkes, 1841]

The 1871 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T9N R6W has the Elochoman River labeled as "Strongs River", Elochoman Slough as "Cathlamet Slough", and today's Hunting Islands were shown as one island and labeled "Cathlamet Island".

The 1881 "Map of the Department of the Columbia" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the river labeled "Strongs River".

In 1960 the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Elochoman River" and "Elochoman Slough" the official spellings. This reversed the 1916 ruling on the river which had made "Elokoman River" the official spelling.


Elochoman Slough at Cathlamet ...

Image, 2005, Elochoman Slough, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Elochoman Slough at Cathlamet, Washington. As seen from downstream along Washington State Highway 4, where the Elochoman Slough splits from the Columbia River (background). Cathlamet, Washington, is to the left, and the Cathlamet Marina is in the foreground. Image taken March 5, 2005.
Image, 2004, Elochoman Slough, Cathlamet, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Head of the Elochoman Slough, at Cathlamet, Washington. As seen from downstream along Washington State Highway 4, where the Elochoman Slough splits from the Columbia River (background). Cathlamet, Washington, is to the left, and the Cathlamet Marina RV is in the foreground. Image taken April 9, 2004.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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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: Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website, 2004; Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington State Historical Society; NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2004; U.S. Bureau of Land Management website, 2007; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2006.

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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September 2008