The Snake River is a significant river in the United States and is situated in the Pacific Northwest. The Snake River snakes and twists through the northwest region of the United States, starting at its headwaters in Wyoming. It travels through Washington, Oregon, and Idaho before arriving to the Columbia River. The Snake River then eventually empties into the Pacific Ocean after combining with water from additional Columbia River tributaries. Its drainage basin extends into neighbouring states like Nevada and Utah, going considerably farther than the river itself.
But this is only a quick synopsis of the Snake River. There are a tonne of other fascinating facts about this river to research, especially considering its known history, which spans thousands of years. Find out 5 fascinating facts about the Snake River below!
The Snake River is over 1,000 miles long!
The Snake River is a significant river system that is well-known for its length. But do you know how far this river stretches? The estimated length of the Snake River is 1,078 miles in its entirety. The greatest river in North America that empties into the Pacific Ocean is the river to which it is connected; this will be covered in more detail below.
This river has hundreds of kilometres, so there are plenty of places for it to split off. It has more than a dozen noteworthy tributaries as a result. This covers the Malad River in Idaho and the Salt River in Wyoming. Due to the length of the Snake River, it is possible to distinguish between its many segments by looking at these tributaries and the points at which they join the main river. The Salmon River is the Snake River’s longest tributary.
It is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.
As was already established, the Columbia River, the largest river in North America with ties to the Pacific Ocean, is connected to the Snake River. At 1,243 miles, the Columbia River is the longest river in the Pacific Northwest. The Snake River is the greatest tributary of the Columbia River in addition to being its connecting river!
The basin of the Snake River is 108,000 square miles in size. This extends across other states, while not being the actual home of the river.
Millions of salmon spawn in Snake River.
Salmon is a major theme in many fascinating facts about the Snake River. Salmon habitats in the Columbia and Snake rivers have historically been recognised as the richest in the world.
Salmon come in many different species, but they all have one thing in common. They are born in freshwater first. As they get older, they follow the river into the ocean, where they dwell in saltwater and brackish water. They will then swim upstream to reach their birth river when the time comes for them to reproduce once more. Millions of individual salmon used to have their birthplace in the Columbia and Snake rivers. This is particularly true for species like Chinook and sockeye salmon found in the Snake River.
Though the precise designation of endangered varies, many of the salmon species that historically called the Snake River home are currently in danger of going extinct. Because of this, the Snake River’s sockeye salmon, which formerly numbered in the millions, are now only found in the tens of thousands at most, and the Chinook salmon are also in danger.
Many modifications have been made to the river in recent decades in an attempt to preserve the local salmon species. In order to provide salmon with access to more upstream habitats, this involves the removal of multiple dams.
Several different species are endemic to the Snake River.
The Snake River is home to at least four distinct indigenous fish species. A species is considered endemic if it is found only in one particular area of the globe. The following species can be found beneath Shoshone Falls:
Relict sand roller (Percopsis transmontana)
Sculpin with a short head (Cottus confusus)
Sculpin with a margin (Cottus marginatus)
Chub in Oregon (Oregonichthys crameri).
But Snake River is home to a variety of native fish species besides unique ones. Alternatively, 35 native fish species have been identified.
Over 250 species of birds live in the Snake River watershed.
It’s typical to conceive about rivers exclusively in terms of the aquatic life that inhabit them. But the Snake River is also vital to a large number of terrestrial creatures. This comprises more than 250 distinct bird species! One of the densest concentrations of raptors that nest, including owls and eagles, can be found at the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA).