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Clackamas Watershed

Oregon's Clackamas River flows approximately 85 miles from its headwaters on Ollalie Butte, just south of Mt. Hood, west into the Willamette River near Oregon City. It drains a total area (watershed) of nearly 1,000 square miles, ranging from Cascade forests and mountain meadows, to farmland and suburban neighborhoods. Forty-seven miles (75 km) of the river, as well as 14 mi (24 km) of its tributary the Roaring River, have been designated as the Clackamas Wild and Scenic River.

The Clackamas watershed supplies high-quality drinking water to over 200,000 people, generates hydro-electric power, hosts many productive farms and nurseries, offers a wealth of recreational opportunities and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. The Clackamas is well known for its steelhead fishing and whitewater recreation.

There are four dams in the immediate vicinity of Estacada: River Mill Dam, Faraday diversion dam, oringinally named Cazadero, Oak Grove diversion dam, and the North Fork Dam. Timothy Lake provides additional storage for water.

The watershed is home to one of the last two significant runs of wild late winter coho in the lower Columbia Basin as well as one of only two remaining runs of spring Chinook in the Willamette Basin.

The Barlow Road, part of the Oregon Trail, runs along the lower reaches of the Clackamas. Portland Gas & Electric commissioned a more complete history of the Clackamas River.


Clackamas River Basin Council

History of the town of Gladstone

USGS Report on water quality in the Clackamas River

Portland Gas & Electric. River History.

Clackamas River Watershed Atlas. Metro Regional Services. 1997.

Compiled by John Ame, Science Writer (2007)