Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Crow Butte, Washington"
Includes ... Crow Butte ... Crow Butte State Park ... Crow Butte Park ...
Image, 2005, Crow Butte, Washington, as seen from the west, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crow Butte, Washington, as seen from the west. View from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken May 24, 2005.

Crow Butte ...
Crow Butte lies on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 262. Just downstream is Alder Creek, where Lewis and Clark spent the night of April 24, 1806. Upstream lies Canoe Ridge, and across from Crow Butte on the Oregon side lies the site of the historic community of Castle Rock. Crow Butte is 28 miles downstream (west) of Plymouth, Washington, and can be reached from Washington State Highway 14.

Crow Butte and the John Day Dam ...
Before flooding of the valley behind the John Day Dam, Crow Butte was a part of the Washington shore. Golgotha Butte lies downstream with Artesian Coulee separating it from Crow Butte. Canoe Ridge lies upstream with Canoe Encampment Rapids at its base. After the flooding of the valley Crow Butte became an island. It now has a causeway connecting it to shore. Crow Butte Park (formerly Crow Butte State Park) is located on the island.

1906 Topographic Map ...

Image, 1906, Topographic Map detail, Crow Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
HISTORICAL MAP ... 1906 Topographic Map detail, Castle Rock, Washington. Detail from "Blalock Island", 1906, 1:125,000, original map courtesy University of Washington Early Washington Maps Digital Archives.

Crow Butte Park ...
(Crow Butte State Park)
Crow Butte Park (formerly Crow Butte State Park) is a 397-acre camping, day-use, and boating park administered by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. In August 2002 Crow Butte State Park closed to the public due to budget cuts. It re-opened as Crow Butte Park in August 2003, with a private manager. The land is owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Crow Butte, along with three other eastern Washington state parks which closed in 2002, were on land leased to the State of Washington by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps built the parks in the 1960s and 1970s as compensation for recreational opportunities that were lost when the Snake and Columbia rivers were dammed. It then handed them over to the state to operate.

Views ...

Image, 2004, Crow Butte, Washington, as seen from Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crow Butte, Washington, as seen from Tower Road, Oregon. Image taken September 24, 2004.
Image, 2005, Crow Butte Park, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Crow Butte Park, Washington. View from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken May 24, 2005.

Crow Butte, etc.

  • Castle Rock to Crown Butte Ferries ...
  • Crow Butte Treaty Fishing Access Site ...

Castle Rock to Crow Butte Ferries ...
The 1906 "Blalock Island" Topographic Map shows two ferries crossing the Columbia River from Castle Rock, Oregon, both heading to Crow Butte, Washington.

Crow Butte Treaty Fishing Access Site, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission ...
All four Columbia River treaty tribes enjoy fishing rights along the Columbia from the Bonneville to McNary dams. This 147-mile stretch of the river is called Zone 6. The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) operates and maintains 31 fishing sites (2015, Note: the website map only shows 30 sites) in Zone 6. These sites were set aside by Congress to provide fishing locations to Indian fishers whose traditional fishing grounds were inundated behind dams.

"For fisheries management purposes, the 292-mile stretch of the Columbia River that creates the border between Washington and Oregon is divided into six zones. Zones 1-5 are between the mouth of the river and Bonneville Dam, a distance of 145 miles. Oregon and Washington manage the commercial fisheries that occur in these zones. Zone 6 is an exclusive treaty Indian commercial fishing area. This exclusion is for commercial fishing only. Non-commercial sports fishers may still fish in this stretch of the river." [Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website, 2016]

The Zone 6 sites include 19 Treaty Fishing Access sites (Bonneville, Wyeth, White Salmon, Stanley Rock, Lyle, Dallesport, Celilo, Maryhill, Rufus, Preacher's Eddy, North Shore, LePage Park, Pasture Point, Roosevelt Park, Pine Creek, Threemile Canyon, Alderdale, Crow Butte, and Faler Road), five "In-lieu" sites (Cascade Locks, Wind River, Cooks, Underwood, and Lone Pine), two "Shared-use" sites (Avery and Sundale Park, for both Tribal use and Public use), and four "Unimproved" sites with no services (Goodnoe, Rock Creek, Moonay, and Aldercreek).

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 20, 1805 ...
A cool morning wind S. W. we concluded to delay untill after brackfast which we were obliged to make on the flesh of dog. after brackfast we gave all the Indian men Smoke, and we Set out leaveing about 200 of the nativs at our Encampment [near Irrigon, Oregon]; passd. three Indian Lodges on the Lard Side a little below our Camp [Irrigon, Oregon] which lodges <we> I did not discover last evening, passed a rapid at Seven miles one at a Short distance below we passed a verry bad rapid, a chane or rocks makeing from the Stard. Side and nearly Chokeing the river up entirely with hugh black rocks [Lewis and Clark called these rapids "Pelican Rapids"] an Island below close under the Stard. Side on which was four Lodges of Indians drying fish,- here I Saw a great number of pelicons on the wing, and black Comerants [American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants]. at one oClock we landed on the lower point of <Some> an Island at Some Indian Lodges, a large Island on the Stard Side nearly opposit and a Small one a little below on the Lard Side on those three Island I counted Seventeen Indian Lodges, ...

[Lewis and Clark are passing through the Blalock Islands area. Today most of the islands are beneath the waters of Lake Umatilla, the reservoir behind the John Day Dam. In this vicinity are today's Boardman, Whitcomb Island, Canoe Ridge, slightly downstream is Crow Butte and historic Castle Rock, along with the many lands of the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge.]

after diner we proceeded on to a bad rapid at the lower point of a Small Island on which four Lodges of Indians were Situated drying fish; here the high countrey Commences again on the Stard. Side [Alder Ridge] leaveing a vallie of 40 miles in width, from the mustle Shel rapid [Umatilla Rapids at the McNary Dam]. examined and passed this rapid close to the Island at 8 miles lower passed a large Island near the middle of the river a brook on the Stard. Side [Alder Creek] and 11 Islds. all in view of each other below, a riverlit [Willow Creek] falls in on the Lard. Side behind a Small Island a Small rapid below. The Star Side is high rugid hills [Alder Ridge], the Lard. Side a low plain and not a tree to be Seen in any Direction except a fiew Small willow bushes which are Scattered partially on the Sides of the bank

The river to day is about 1/4 of a mile in width; this evening the Countrey on the Lard. Side [area around Arlington, Oregon] rises to the hight of that on the Starboard Side [ridge above Roosevelt], and is wavering- we made 42 <days> miles to day [to Roosevelt, Washington]; the current much more uniform than yesterday or the day before. Killed 2 Speckle guls Severl. ducks of a delicious flavour.

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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 River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website, 2016;    The Olympian, October 12, 2002;
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2004, Walla Walla District;
  • "windsurf.gorge.net" website, 2004;

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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Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
January 2016