Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Clatsop Spit and the South Jetty, Oregon"
Includes ... Clatsop Spit ... South Jetty ... Trestle Bay (Jetty Lagoon) ... Clatsop Beach ... Point Adams ... Fort Stevens ... "Phoca" ...
Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken September 27, 2009.


Clatsop Spit ...
Clatsop Spit extends to the west and north of Point Adams, Oregon . To the south is Clatsop Beach, the general name given to the 18-mile-long beach extending from Point Adams to Seaside, Oregon. Clatsop Spit and parts of Clatsop Beach are located within Fort Stevens State Park.

From the "Coast Pilots" ...
From the 1858 U.S. Coast Survey "Coast Pilot":

"...The beach around Point Adams and to the southward some distance is usually called Clatsop beach. Upon it, many years ago, before the whites occupied the country, a Chinese or Japanese junk, with many hands and a cargo of beeswax, was cast ashore and went to pieces; but the crew were saved. In support of this Indian tradition, there are occasionally, after great storms, pieces of this wax thrown ashore, coated with sand and bleached nearly white. Formerly a great deal was found, but now it is rarely met with. Belcher mentions having a specimen. Many people on the Columbia possess them, and we have seen several pieces. ..."

Note: The beach around Point Adams and to the southward for some indefinite distance today is locally known as the Clatsop Beach. The Sir Edward Belcher British survey was in 1839.

From the 1889 U.S. Coast Survey "Coast Pilot":

"... Stretching out from Point Adams is the great shoal known as the Clatsop Spit, whose normal direction points towards Cape Disappointment. It frequently stretches more than half way across the mouth of the irver, and is then usually marked by the breakers around its whole extent, except in exceedingly smooth weather and at high water. But there have been periods when its northern edge stretched straight out to sea, and then swept in far to the southward of Point Adams. ..."

From the 1917 U.S. Coast Survey "Coast Pilot":

"... Clatsop Spit is a low sand beach extending from Point Adams, a distance of 2 1/2 miles toward Cape Disappointment. It was formerly subject to extensive shifting, but the construction of the south jetty has fixed it in postion. ..."

Note: The South Jetty was constructed in 1913.

Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
In the fog, Clatsop Spit, South Jetty, and Clatsop Beach, Oregon. Image taken October 18, 2009.


Clatsop Spit, etc.

  • Cape Disappointment from Clatsop Spit ...
  • Columbia River from Clatsop Spit ...
  • "Phoca" ...
  • Snowy Owls ...
  • South Jetty ...
  • South Jetty Viewing Platform ...
  • Trestle Bay ...


Cape Disappointment from Clatsop Spit ...

Image, 2009, Cape Disappointment from Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cape Disappointment, Washington, as seen from Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken September 27, 2009.
Image, 2012, Cape Disappointment from Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cape Disappointment, Washington, as seen from Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken November 26, 2012.


Columbia River from Clatsop Spit ...

Image, 2009, Columbia River from Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River, as seen from Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Cape Disappointment is on the far side of the Columbia. Image taken September 27, 2009.
Image, 2009, Columbia River view from Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River view, as seen from Clatsop Spit, Oregon. From left to right --- Point Ellice, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, Tongue Point, Astoria, Youngs Bay, and Point Adams way off on the right. Weather overcast and grey, but surprisingly no rain. Image taken August 8, 2009.


"Phoca" ...
According to Moulton, the "seal" which Lewis and Clark spotted was the Harbor Seal, "Phoca vitulina richardii". Today the Pacific Harbor Seal, California Sea Lion, and the Steller Sea Lion frequent the waters of the lower Columbia River, from its mouth at Clatsop Spit all the way up past the Bonneville Dam.

"... The Seal or Phoca are found here in great numbers, and as far up the Columbia as the great Falls, above which there are none. I have reasons to believe from the information of the men that there are Several Species of the Phoca on this Coast and in the river, but what the difference is I am unable to State not haveing Seen them myself Sufficiently near for manute inspection nor obtain the different kinds to make a comparison. the Skins of Such as I have Seen are covered with a Short thick Coarse Glossy hair of a redish bey brown Colour. tho' the animal while in the water, or as we saw them frequently in the river appear to be black and Spoted with white sometimes. I am not much acquainted with the Seal, but Suppose that they are the Same common also to the atlantic Ocian in the Same parrelal of Latitude. the Skins, or those which I have Seen are presisely Such as trunks are frequently Covered with. the flesh of this animal is highly prised by the nativs who Swinge the hair off and then roste the flesh on Sticks before the fire. ..."

[Clark, February 23, 1806, while at Fort Clatsop]

Image, 2011, Buoy, Columbia River at Clatsop Spit, click to enlarge
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Buoy 21 with Sea Lions, Columbia River at Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 25, 2011.
Image, 2011, Buoy, Columbia River at Clatsop Spit, click to enlarge
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Pacific Harbor Seal, Columbia River at Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 25, 2011.


Snowy Owls ...
During the winter of 2012-2013 Snowy Owls could be found in the South Jetty area.

Image, 2013, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Snowy Owl, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken February 2, 2013.
Image, 2013, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Snowy Owl, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken February 2, 2013.


South Jetty ...
From "Columbian.com" website, 2009 (by Erik Robinson, July 23, 2009):

"... Work on the 6 1/2-mile-long south jetty started in 1886 and was completed in 1913. The shorter north jetty, 2 1/2 miles long, was built in 1917. ..."

Image, 2009, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pacific Ocean and the South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken September 27, 2009.
Image, 2012, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pacific Ocean and the South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 1, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 1, 2012.
Image, 2009, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Waves, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken September 27, 2009.
Image, 2009, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Fishing, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken September 27, 2009.


South Jetty Viewing Platform ...

Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Weather overcast and grey, but surprisingly no rain. Image taken August 8, 2009.
Image, 2009, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
South Jetty viewing platform, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Weather overcast and grey, but surprisingly no rain. Image taken August 8, 2009.
Image, 2012, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Viewing platform, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 1, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pacific Ocean, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Viewing platform, South Jetty, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Image taken October 1, 2012.


Trestle Bay (Jetty Lagoon) from Clatsop Spit ...
The 1.5-mile-long Trestle Bay (a.k.a. "Jetty Lagoon") is located on the eastern side of Clatsop Spit, between Point Adams and the tip of Clatsop Spit. Trestle Bay was created by the construction of the South Jetty.
[More]

Image, 2009, Trestle Bay, Clatsop Spit, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trestle, Trestle Bay, Clatsop Spit, Oregon. The South Jetty is visible behind the old Trestle, and the Washington end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge is in the background. Weather overcast and grey, but surprisingly no rain. Image taken August 8, 2009.


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:    "Columbian.com" website, 2009;    NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-39, Biological Surveys of the Trestle Bay Enhancement Project, 1994, 1996-97, January 2000;    NOAA Office of Coast Surveys website, 2006;    U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, 2009;   

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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© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
October 2012