Snake River Drainage from Hells Canyon Dam to C.J. Strike Reservoir
Irrigation Ditch
Irrigation ditch, north of Grand View.

The Snake River between Hells Canyon Dam and the backwaters of C.J. Strike Reservoir has been greatly altered by impoundments and diversions. Within this reach of river, Idaho Power has constructed five major impoundments: Hells Canyon, Oxbow, Brownlee, Swan Falls, and C.J. Strike. These five reservoirs impound 111 miles of river with a total of 27,400 surface acres of water. There is 154 miles of flowing water remaining within this reach. The Snake River impoundments between Hells Canyon Dam and the State Highway 51 bridge support populations of warmwater and coldwater game fish.

From Brownlee Reservoir upstream to Walters Ferry, the Snake River flows through a broad, flat plain with low gradient, few rapids or riffles, and many large islands. This section of river supports a diversity of warmwater game species, including smallmouth bass, channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, and flathead catfish. Rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and white sturgeon are also found in this reach.

From Walters Ferry upstream to Swan Falls Dam, the Snake River flows through a narrow canyon with boulder strewn rapids and large, deep pools. The primary fishery upstream from Walters Ferry consists of smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and white sturgeon.
Written and compiled by Jacqueline Harvey 1999.