Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington"
Includes ... Vancouver Trout Hatchery ... Columbia Slope Watershed ... Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center ... Evergreen Fisheries Park ... Biddle Nature Preserve ... Biddle's Landing ... Hudson Bay Company Mills ... Lewis Love's Gristmill ...
Image, 2004, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.


Vancouver Trout Hatchery ...
The Vancouver Trout Hatchery is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 113. Downstream is the Interstate 205 Bridge and the small communities of Ellsworth and Image. Two miles upstream is Fishers Landing. The Vancouver Trout Hatchery can be reached from the Evergreen Highway, north of Washington State Highway 14. Today the Hatchery is also home to the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, the Biddle Natural Reserve, East and West Biddle Lakes, and numerous hiking trails. It 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.

Vancouver Trout Hatchery History ...
The Vancouver Hatchery was constructed in 1938 and 1939 as part of the Federal Government Depression-era Works Programs Administration. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) purchased the original property, and, in the 1990s they entered onto a twenty-year agreement with Clark Public Utilities to keep the hatchery open and producing fish. The abundance of cold natural spring water made it an ideal location for the successful rearing of fish. Today, the hatchery and its operations have been incorporated into Columbia Springs' educational programs. The original 40-acre property is bisected by State Route 14 with 20 acres north of the freeway and 16 acres south. The property north of Highway 14 is a protected watershed to provide water for hatchery operations.

Fish ...
In November 2008 the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center's website stated the Vancouver Trout Hatchery raised three types of fish: Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat, and produced 70,000 half pound catchable Rainbow Trout, 35,000 half pound Brown Trout, and 10,000 one pound Coastal Cutthroat.

Today (May 2015) the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center's website states:

"The Vancouver Hatchery's production consists of Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and summer and winter Steelhead. Rainbow trout and Brown trout are raised to half a pound and then released into local lakes in Clark County. Steelhead are raised until they reach fingerling size and then sent ot Skamania Hatchery to acclimate to river water to be introduced into the river systems. Each year the hatchery raises approximately: 70,000 half pound catchable Rainbow trout, and 20,000 half pound Brown trout."

Viewing Ponds ...

Image, 2008, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery Viewing Pond sign, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.
Image, 2008, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.
Image, 2008, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.
Image, 2008, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Brown Trout, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.


Views ...

Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2015, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Pens, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken May 18, 2015.
Image, 2004, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Pond, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Viewing Platform, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Fall Colors, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2009, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Red-flowering Currant, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken April 7, 2009.
Image, 2009, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Anna's Hummingbird, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken April 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken April 8, 2009.
Image, 2008, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Great Egret, click to enlarge
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Great Egret, West Biddle Lake, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken November 21, 2008.


Vancouver Trout Hatchery, etc.

  • After the Hudson Bay Company ...
  • Biddle Nature Preserve ...
  • Columbia River Fish Hatcheries ...
  • Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center ...
  • East and West Biddle Lakes ...
  • Hudson Bay Company's Sawmills ...
  • Joseph's Creek and Wood's Landing ...
  • Journey of the Salmon ...
  • Love's Gristmill Stones ...
  • Springs along the Columbia Slope ...
  • Water Wheel Replica ...


After the Hudson Bay Company ...
The 1850 Clark County Census lists a Wm. F. Crate, age 37, occupation Millwright, born in England, along with his wife Sarah, age 34, born in England, and two sons, Wm. F. Jr., age 5, and Adolphus, age 2, both born in Vermont.

The 1852 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T1N R1E shows "H.B.Cos Mills" (two mills) spanning both sides of a drainage in the southwest quarter of Section 3. The road from Lieser Point runs through the Mills and then swings north to the Mill Plain road, before splitting, with one branch swinging south to Fishers Landing.

The 1863 cadastral survey for T1N R1E shows that area of Section 3 being split (it appears to be along the drainage), with the western part belonging to the Donation Land Claim (DLC) of Wm. F. Crate (Claim No.38) and the eastern part belonging to E.J. Taylor (Claim No.39). No indication of the former Hudson Bay Company Mills.



Biddle Nature Preserve ...
The City of Vancouver owns land on the west and east ends of Columbia Springs plus an area on the north side of Highway 14. The area on the west end is the Biddle Natural Preserve, donated by the Wood Family. Biddle Natural Preserve has a one-third mile interpretive trail and two bird-viewing blinds. The Biddle Natural Preserve is connected to Columbia Springs by a section of the Lewis and Clark Discovery Greenway trail.

Image, 2005, Biddle Nature Preserve, click to enlarge
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Pathway from the Vancouver Hatchery Complex towards the Biddle Nature Preserve. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2004, Biddle Nature Preserve, click to enlarge
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Biddle Nature Preserve, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.


Columbia River Fish Hatcheries ...
[More]


Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center ...
The Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, once known as "Evergreen Fisheries Park", is located on the site of the historic Vancouver Trout Hatchery. The center was created in 1997 in a partnership of Clark Public Utilities, Evergreen School District, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, City of Vancouver/Clark County, and Clark College, with a goal to provide environmental education for local students in grades K-12 and college. The center is located on more than 100 acres of urban green space, offering different microclimates and ecosystems. The Biddle Trail, located on the west end of the center, is a self-guided interpretive nature walk. Bird blinds provide ample opportunity for wildlife viewing as well as shelter in wetter weather. The park is open daily to the public.

Image, 2008, Sign, Vancouver Trout Hatchery and Columbia Springs Education Center, click to enlarge
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Sign, Vancouver Trout Hatchery and Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.
Image, 2011, Columbia Springs Education Center, click to enlarge
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Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2005, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, click to enlarge
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Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, click to enlarge
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Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.


East and West Biddle Lakes ...

Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, West Biddle Lake, click to enlarge
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West Biddle Lake, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, West Biddle Lake, click to enlarge
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West Biddle Lake, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, West Biddle Lake, click to enlarge
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West Biddle Lake, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, West Biddle Lake, click to enlarge
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East Biddle Lake, Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center. Image taken July 31, 2011.


Hudson's Bay Company Sawmill ...
The location of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery and the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center was once the location for a Hudson's Bay Company sawmill. The first sawmill was erected in the winter of 1828 to 1829, and the last sawmill continued in operation until 1856.
[More]

Image, 2008, Hudsons Bay Sawmills sign, click to enlarge
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Hudson's Bay Company Sawmills Sign, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 25, 2008.


Joseph's Creek and Wood's Landing ...
Joseph's Creek flows a short distance from the marshes east of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery to the Columbia River. Joseph's Creek is within the Columbia Slope Watershed. This creek and its surrounding springs contain one of the last three significant spawning grounds for the Columbia River chum salmon.

The 10 acres of Wood's Landing has fresh water springs, upland habitat, and nearly 1,000 feet of Columbia River shoreline. It is one of three prime Chum Salmon spots along the Columbia. Here, at Wood's Landing (once the homesite of Erskine B. Wood), chum salmon return in late autumn each year to lay their eggs in the spring water. Wood's Landing is located upstream of the Interstate 205 Bridge and downstream of the steamboat landing housing development on the north shore of the Columbia River, and includes Joseph's Creek. It is part of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery complex and is located 1/2 mile east of the main Hatchery complex. In 2004 the City of Vancouver, along with Clark County, purchased this shoreline to preserve this spawning spot.



Journey of the Salmon ...

Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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"Journey of the Salmon", Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.
Image, 2005, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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"Journey of the Salmon", Vancouver Trout Hatchery/Columbia Springs Education Center, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken October 21, 2005.


Love's Gristmill Stones ...
From 1862 until the early 1900s, Lewis Love operated a sawmill and a gristmill very near the location of the Hudson's Bay Company's sawmill. The stones from the Gristmill are now on display at the Trout Hatchery.

What is a Gristmill?

A gristmill is a building where grain is ground into flour or maize into corn meal.

Millstones are 'Groovy'

Millstones are often made of a hard stone, most commonly granite. Notice that the surface is divided by deep grooves. These are called furrows and the smaller grouves are called feathering. They both provide a cutting edge and with the help of centrifugal force, the ground flour is channeled outward from between the two stones.

The Grinding Process

The two stones are laid one on top of the other. The bottom stone, called the bed, is attached to the floor. The top stone, the runner, turns to grind the grain. This particular runner stone is turned groove side up so you can feel the grooves. In an operating mill, this stone would be flipped so the grooves tough the bed, or the other stone. The miller adjusts the distance between the stones to regulate how finely the grain is ground.

Water Makes the Wheel Go Round

Classical mill designs used water to power gears to turn a millstone. The grain is poured etween the stones and ground as the wheel rotates.


Source:    Information sign, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, 2011.


Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Sign, Gristmills, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Lewis Love's ca.1866 Gristmill stones, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Lewis Love's ca.1866 Gristmill stones, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Lewis Love's ca.1866 Gristmill stones, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.


Springs along the Columbia Slope ...
Springs are plentiful in the gravel deposits along the 25-square-mile Columbia Slope watershed which exists between Vancouver, Washington and Camas, Washington. The City of Vancouver once used springs near Ellsworth as a water source, and originally the water for the Vancouver Trout Hatchery came from springs issuing from the hillsides.
[More]


Water Wheel Replica ...
In July 2011 a replica water wheel was assembled at the Vancouver Trout Hatchery. The replica wheel is 14-foot diameter and made of rough-hewn Douglas fir. The structure weighs over 7,500 pounds and rests on two 9-foot-high concrete pedistals. When finished the wheel will support 24 wooden paddles. It is expected to be complete in August 2011.
[More]

Image, 2011, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Under construction, Water Wheel replica, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 31, 2011.
Image, 2011, Water Wheel, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Water Wheel replica, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken September 10, 2011.
Image, 2011, Water Wheel, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, click to enlarge
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Water Wheel replica, Vancouver Trout Hatchery, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken September 10, 2011.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day





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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:    Clark County website, "Columbia Slope Watershed", 2005, 2007;    Columbia Land Trust website, 2005;    Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center website, 2005, 2008, 2015;    Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center brochure, "Step Back in Time", 2011;    "Columbian.com" website, 2006;    "Rootsweb.com" website, 2007, Clark County;    U.S. National Park Service, Fort Vancouver Cultural Landscape Report, 2003;    Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition website, 2005;

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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May 2015