Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bella Coola River

In case you have wondered about the Bella Coola River - like, how long is it, where is it source, where does it go?  I thought I should straighten that out - since it is a bit confusing.

Unlike most great rivers, that start somewhere as a tiny rivulet in the hills and eventually pick up a whole bunch of other rivers and empty into an ocean or a lake, the Bella Coola River doesn't follow this pattern.  For some reason, back in time the name of the Bella Coola River was picked to describe the 50 km portion of the river after two rivers merge to create it and it flows west to the Pacific Ocean at the head of North Bentinck Arm.  The Talchako River aka "Whitewater" River starts to the south Bella Coola Valley and forms part of the western boundary of Tweedsmuir Park, flowing north for 40 km to join the Atnarko just downstream from Stuie, BC.   The Atnarko River, 65 km long itself is a beautiful clear extremely productive salmon and trout river has it's origin deep within Tweedsmuir Park south of Lonesome Lake.  Very little glacial meltwater gets into the Atnarko so outside the spring freshet it is mostly nearly gin clear.   In contrast the Talchako River has it's origin in the Talchako glacier and except for a few brief winter months can be milky white and dirty glacial green.  The influence of the Talchako based on the size and flow pretty much dominates and from the junction where the two rivers meet west of Stuie, BC the river for the next 50 km is known as the Bella Coola River and from May till November is usually very glacial in colour.  Grizzly

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