Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Home Regions Campsites Penny Postcards My Corps of Discovery Image Index Links About This Site Main Menu
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Blind Slough, Oregon"
Includes ... Blind Slough ... "Net Pens" ... Western Grebe ... Red-throated Loon ... Arctic Loon ... Double-crested Cormorant ...
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Blind Slough, Oregon, looking downstream along right bank. View from bridge. Image taken January 13, 2008.


Blind Slough ...
Blind Slough enters Knappa Slough behind Karlson Island (approximately at Columbia River Mile (RM) 27), and meanders east through the low plain towards Aldrich Point. North of Blind Slough is Saspal Slough and south of Blind Slough is Warren Slough. The western part of Blind Slough is a 897-acre preserve run by the Nature Conservancy. The preserve was created to protect a Sitka spruce swamp, of which some of the Sitka spruce are over 400 years old.

"... Blind Slough Swamp is the best example of a Sitka spruce swamp remaining in Oregon. Once common in coastal estuaries from Tillamook to Alaska, this habitat type has been mostly lost in Oregon and Washington to logging, diking and other development. The preserve is bordered on three sides by Columbia River sloughs and channels, and it adjoins the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. Blind Slough Swamp is in an area well-known for birding, canoeing and kayaking opportunities. ..." [The Nature Conservancy Website, 2007]

The origin of the name "Blind Slough" is unknown. McArthur and McArthur in Oregon Geographic Names (2003) offers a suggestion:

"... Blind Slough opens off the Prairie Channel of the Columbia River about halfway between Knappa and Brownsmead. The slough wanders about a good deal and gets nowhere in particular. One fair-sized branch pinches out suddenly, and that was probably the reason for the name. ..." [McArthur and McArthur, 2003]

Today Blind Slough has a few homes and docks dotting its shore, is an excellent canoe and kayak location, and is home to "net pens" where finglerling salmon are raised before being released to head to the Pacific (see more below). Research has discovered some of the trees along Blind Slough survived the massive "Cascadia Quake" in 1700, a magnitude 9.0 quake which shook the coastline of Washington and British Columbia on January 26, 1700.


Image, 2012, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Blind Slough, Oregon, looking upstream. View from bridge. Image taken September 22, 2012.
Image, 2012, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Blind Slough, Oregon, looking downstream. View from bridge. Image taken September 22, 2012.


Early Blind Slough ...
Blind Slough appears on the State of Oregon's 1856 cadastral survey (tax survey) for T9N R7W as "Blind Slough". It's length included today's Blind Slough and today's Knappa Slough.

The Blind Slough Post Office was established in 1910. It had 4 postmasters before closing in 1924 when Brownsmead Post Office took over.

In 1992 the James River Corporation donated 640 acres bordering the Slough to The Nature Conservatory to manage as a natural area and wildlife refuge.



Views ...

Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking back at bridge, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken February 17, 2008.
Image, 2012, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Looking downstream, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken September 22, 2012.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Blind Slough and flooded fields, Oregon. Image taken January 13, 2008.
Image, 2004, House on Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House on Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.
Image, 2004, House on Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Reflection, House on Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House on Blind Slough, Oregon. View from bridge. Image taken January 13, 2008.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Camouflage boat on Blind Slough, Oregon. View from bridge. Image taken January 13, 2008.


Blind Slough, etc.

  • Birds ...
  • Net Pens ...


Birds ...
Wintering birds like Blind Slough and nearby Saspal Slough and Knappa Slough. An excellent spot to photograph birds is from the large concrete bridge crossing Blind Slough. During the winter of 2007-2008 an Arctic Loon hung out. Apparently the fishing was good. Other birds photographed were the Western Grebe, Red-throated Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, and the Glaucous-winged Gull.

Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Arctic Loon, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken January 13, 2008.

An Arctic Loon, rather rare, hung out for a while on Blind Slough during the winter of 2007-2008. The fishing was good.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Western Grebe, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken January 13, 2008.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Red-throated Loon, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken January 13, 2008.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Double-crested Cormorant, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken January 13, 2008.
Image, 2008, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Glaucous-winged Gull, adult, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken February 17, 2008.


"Net Pens" ...
Since 1976 Clatsop County, Oregon, has maintained a project along the Lower Columbia River, with salmon "net pens" first set up in Young Bay, and, as the project proved worthwhile, net pens were added in Blind Slough and near Tongue Point. Fingerlings were raised and then released in the Columbia River as smolts.
[More]

Image, 2004, Net pens, Blind Slough, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Net Pens, Blind Slough, Oregon. Image taken November 20, 2004.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 26, 1805, first draft ...
Cloudy and Some rain this morning at daylight wind blew from the E N. E, we Set out and proceeded on up on the North Side of this great river to a rock in the river from thence we Crossed to the lower point of an [blank] Island passed between 2 Islands to the main Shore, and proceeded down the South Side [Cathlamet Bay] passed 2 Inlets & halted below the 2d at a Indian village of 9 large houses [Knappa, Oregon] - those Indians live on an emenence behind a Island or a Channel of the river not more than 300 yds wide, they live on fish & Elk and Wapto roots, of which we bought a few at a high price they Call them Selves Cat-tar-bets description



We proceeded on about 8 miles and Encamped in a deep bend to the South [location of today's Twilight Eagle Sanctuary], we had not been Encamped long ere 3 Indians Came in a Canoe to trade the Wapto roots - we had rain all the day all wet and disagreeable a bad place to Camp all around this great bend is high land thickly timbered brushey & almost impossible to penetrate we Saw on an Island below the village a place of deposit for the dead in Canoes-

Great numbers of Swan Geese Brant Ducks & Gulls in this great bend which is Crouded with low Islands covered with weeds grass &c. and overflowed every flood tide [today the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge] The people of the last village is-[blank] ...     We are now decending to see if a favourable place should offer on the So Side to winter &c.

from a high Point opsd. a high Isd down the South Side is S. 30 W 6 mls to a point of low land opsd. upr. pt of Isd. passed lowr. pt. 1st Isd. marshey. at the upr. pt. of 2 low Isd. opsd. each other at 4 miles



S. 12 E 2 miles
to an Indn. Cat-tar-bet vilg of 9 houses [Knappa, Oregon] passed an inlet 300 yds wide on Std at 1/2 a mile

S. 60 W 1 mile
to high land on the South

S. 70 W 1 do.
to a South point Low land a low Isd. opsd. pass the former

S. 50 W. 6 miles
to a high point S.

South 2 miles to a bend Camped

N. 70 W. 6 miles
to a point No. 1 a deep bend to the left

S. 50 W 8 miles
to Point No. 2 passing a deep bend to the South

S. 50 W 1 1/2 miles S. 40 W 1 1/2 miles
to Pt in Bay

The bay turns to the N of East & recves 2 other small Brooks





Journey to the PacificReturn to
Menu
 



SNAKE RIVER CONFLUENCE | COLUMBIA PLATEAU
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE | VANCOUVER PLAINS | JOURNEY TO THE PACIFIC
CAMPSITES


HOME | REGIONS | PENNY POSTCARDS | MY CORPS OF DISCOVERY
IMAGE INDEX | LINKS | ABOUT THIS SITE


COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES - HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY - HOME
NORTHWEST BIRDING
RIDGEFIELD NWR - BIRDS
COMPLETE BIRD LIST - PHOTOS
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS



*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:    Bonneville Power Administration website, 2007;    Clatsop County, Oregon, website, 2007;    Hay, K.G., 2004, The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail, Timber Press, Portland;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;    The Nature Conservancy website, 2007;    Oregon Bureau of Land Management website, 2005;    Wahkiakum County 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.
/Regions/Places/blind_slough.html
© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
April 2017