The FRASER RIVER /ˈfreɪzər/ is the longest river within British
* 1 Naming
* 2 Course
* 2.1 Discharge
* 3 History * 4 Uses * 5 Fishing
* 6 Flooding
* 6.1 1948 flood
* 6.1.1 Timeline * 6.1.2 Reasons for the flood of 1948
* 6.2 Later flooding
* 7 Tributaries * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
The river is named after Simon Fraser , who led an expedition in 1808
on behalf of the
North West Company from the site of present-day
Prince George almost to the mouth of the river. The river's name in
Halqemeylem (Upriver Halkomelem) language is STO:LO, often seen
archaically as STAULO, and has been adopted by the Halkomelem-speaking
peoples of the
Lower Mainland as their collective name, Sto:lo . The
river's name in the
Dakelh language is LHTAKOH. The _Tsilhqot\'in_
name for the river, not dissimilar to the _Dakelh_ name, is
The Fraser drains a 220,000-square-kilometre (85,000 sq mi) area. Its
source is a dripping spring at
From Lytton southwards it runs through a progressively deeper canyon
Lillooet Ranges of the
Coast Mountains on its west and the
Cascade Range on its east. Hell\'s Gate , located immediately
downstream of the town of Boston Bar , is a famous portion of the
canyon where the walls narrow dramatically, forcing the entire volume
of the river through a gap only 35 metres (115 feet) wide. An aerial
tramway takes visitors out over the river. Hells Gate is visible from
Richmond is on the largest island in the Fraser,
Lulu Island and also
on Sea Island , which is the location of
After 100 kilometres (about 60 mi), it forms a delta where it empties
Strait of Georgia between the mainland and
Similar to the
Columbia River Gorge east of
Portland, Oregon , the
Fraser exploits a topographic cleft between two mountain ranges
separating a more continental climate (in this case, that of the
The estuary at the river's mouth is a site of hemispheric importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network .
The Water Survey of
The Fraser's highest recorded flow, in June 1894, is estimated to have been 17,000 cubic metres per second (600,000 cu ft/s) at Hope . It was calculated using high-water marks near the hydrometric station at Hope and various statistical methods. In 1948 the Fraser River Board adopted the estimate for the 1894 flood. It remains the value specified by regulatory agencies for all flood control work on the river. Further studies and hydraulic models have estimated the maximum discharge of the Fraser River, at Hope during the 1894 flood, as within a range of about 16,000 to 18,000 cubic metres per second (570,000 to 640,000 cu ft/s).
_ The Descent of the Fraser River, 1808_, by C.W. Jefferys
On June 14, 1792, the Spanish explorers Dionisio Alcalá Galiano and Cayetano Valdés entered and anchored in the North Arm of the Fraser River, becoming the first Europeans to find and enter it. The existence of the river, but not its location, had been deduced during the 1791 voyage of José María Narváez , under Francisco de Eliza .
The upper reaches of the
In 1828 George Simpson visited the river, mainly to examine Fort
Langley and determine whether it would be suitable as the Hudson\'s
Bay Company 's main Pacific depot. Simpson had believed the Fraser
River might be navigable throughout its length, even though Simon
Fraser had described it as non-navigable. Simpson journeyed down the
river and through the
Fraser Canyon and afterwords wrote "I should
consider the passage down, to be certain Death, in nine attempts out
of Ten. I shall therefore no longer talk about it as a navigable
stream". His trip down the river convinced him that Fort Langley could
not replace Fort
Much of British Columbia's history has been bound to the Fraser,
partly because it was the essential route between the Interior and the
Lower Coast after the loss of the lands south of the 49th Parallel
In 1998, the river was designated as a Canadian Heritage River for its natural and human heritage. It remains the longest river with that designation.
The Fraser is heavily exploited by human activities, especially in
its lower reaches. Its banks are rich farmland, its water is used by
pulp mills , and a few dams on some tributaries provide hydroelectric
power . The main flow of the Fraser has never been dammed partly
because its high level of sediment flows would result in a short dam
lifespan, but mostly because of strong opposition from fisheries and
other environmental concerns. In 1858, the
The delta of the river, especially in the Boundary Bay area, is an important stopover location for migrating shorebirds
Fraser Herald , a regional position within the Canadian Heraldic
Authority is named after the river.
_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June 2008)_
After European settlement, the first disastrous flood in the Fraser Valley occurred in 1894. With no protection against the rising waters of the Fraser River, Fraser Valley communities from Chilliwack downstream were inundated with water. In the 1894 floods, the water mark at Mission reached 7.85 metres (25.75 ft).
After the 1894 flood, a dyking system was constructed throughout the Fraser Valley. The dyking and drainage projects greatly improved the flood problems, but unfortunately over time, the dykes were allowed to fall into disrepair and became overgrown with brush and trees. With some dykes constructed of a wooden frame, they gave way in 1948 in several locations, marking the second disastrous flood. Flooding since 1948 has been minor in comparison.
1948 saw massive flooding in Chilliwack and other areas along the Fraser River. The high-water mark at Mission rose to 7.5 metres (24.7 ft).
* Throughout the May 24 long weekend, the waters of the Fraser were
rising steadily, but only a few thought any real danger lay ahead.
* On May 28, 1948, the Semiault Creek Dyke broke.
* On May 29, 1948, dykes near Glendale (now Cottonwood Corners) gave
way and in four days, 49 square kilometres (12,000 acres) of fertile
ground were under water.
* On June 1, 1948, the Cannor Dyke (east of Vedder Canal near Trans
Reasons For The Flood Of 1948
Cool temperatures during March, April and early May had delayed the melting of the heavy snowpack that had accumulated over the winter season. Several days of hot weather and warm rains over the holiday weekend in late May hastened the thawing of the snowpack. Rivers and streams quickly swelled with spring runoff, reaching heights surpassed only in 1894. Finally, the poorly maintained dike systems failed to contain the water.
At the height of the 1948 flood, 200 square kilometres (50,000 acres) stood under water. Dykes broke at Agassiz, Chiliwack, Nicomen Island, Glen Valley and Matsqui. By the time the flood waters receded a month later, 16,000 people had been evacuated, damages totaled $20 million.
Due to record snowpacks on the mountains in the
Tributaries are listed from the mouth of the Fraser and going up
* Brunette River * Coquitlam River * Pitt River * Stave River * D\'Herbomez Creek * Norrish Creek * Sumas River * Harrison River * Ruby Creek * Coquihalla River * Emory Creek * Spuzzum Creek * Anderson River * Nahatlatch River * Thompson River * Stein River * Seton River * Bridge River * Churn Creek * Chilcotin River * Williams Lake River * Quesnel River * Cottonwood River * West Road River (Blackwater River) * Nechako River * Salmon River * Willow River * McGregor River * Bowron River * Torpy River * Morkill River * Goat River * Doré River * Holmes River * Castle Creek * Raush River * Kiwa Creek * Tete Creek * McLennan River * Swiftcurrent Creek * Robson River * Moose River
List of tributaries of the Fraser River
List of crossings of the Fraser River
* List of crossings of the
* List of crossings of the
* List of longest rivers of
Salishan languages and
Chinook Jargon . The
Halkomelem form is
Sto:lo , used as the name of the people of the
Fraser Valley stretch
of the river. "Staulo" is the anglicization used in the _Kamloops Wawa
_ lexicon of the
Carrier language .
Lhtako is also used to mean the Dakelh
people of the Quesnel /North
* ^ Indigenous name recorded by Alexander Mackenzie on expedition