Coquitlam River

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Coquitlam River
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Source Disappointment Lake
 - elevation 1,034 m (3,392 ft) [1]
 - coordinates 49°33′13″N 122°45′59″W / 49.55361°N 122.76639°W / 49.55361; -122.76639 [2]
Mouth Fraser River
 - location Port Coquitlam, Metro Vancouver
 - elevation 4 m (13 ft) [1]
 - coordinates 49°13′30″N 122°48′18″W / 49.22500°N 122.80500°W / 49.22500; -122.80500Coordinates: 49°13′30″N 122°48′18″W / 49.22500°N 122.80500°W / 49.22500; -122.80500 [3]
Discharge for Port Coquitlam
 - average 6.04 m3/s (213 cu ft/s) [4]
 - max 476 m3/s (16,810 cu ft/s)
 - min 0.025 m3/s (1 cu ft/s)

The Coquitlam River (/kˈkwɪtləm/ or /kəˈkwɪtləm/) is a tributary of the Fraser River in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The river's name comes from a Halkomelem word meaning "stinking of fish slime". A traditional story tells of the Coquitlam people selling themselves into slavery during a winter famine. While butchering salmon for their masters they would be covered with fish slime.[5]

Each year hundreds of salmon return to spawn in the Coquitlam River.

Part of the Port Coquitlam Tributary Trail and the Trans Canada trail run alongside this river. The Indian reserves of the Kway-quit-lum people of the Coquitlam Indian Band are also located along the river.


The Coquitlam River originates at Disappointment Lake in the Coast Mountains near Indian Arm.[2] It flows south into Coquitlam Lake, a reservoir behind Coquitlam Dam, which provides a large portion of Vancouver's drinking water. Below the dam the Coquitlam River continues to flow south, reaching the Fraser River between the cities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, suburban municipalities located in Metro Vancouver.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Elevation derived from ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model, using GeoLocator, and BCGNIS coordinates.
  2. ^ a b "Disappointment Lake". BC Geographical Names. 
  3. ^ "Coquitlam River". BC Geographical Names. 
  4. ^ "Archived Hydrometric Data Search". Water Survey of Canada. Retrieved 16 August 2013.  Search for Station 08MH002 Coquitlam River at Port Coquitlam
  5. ^ Akrigg, G. P. V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1997). British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7748-0637-4. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 

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