Birch Creek (Umatilla River)

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Birch Creek
Birch Creek.JPG
At Hoeft Road, south of Pendleton Country Club
Country United States
State Oregon
County Umatilla
Source confluence of east and west forks
 - location near Pilot Rock
 - elevation 1,622 ft (494 m) [1]
 - coordinates 45°29′06″N 118°50′04″W / 45.48500°N 118.83444°W / 45.48500; -118.83444 [2]
Mouth Umatilla River
 - location near Rieth
 - elevation 958 ft (292 m) [2]
 - coordinates 45°39′19″N 118°52′54″W / 45.65528°N 118.88167°W / 45.65528; -118.88167Coordinates: 45°39′19″N 118°52′54″W / 45.65528°N 118.88167°W / 45.65528; -118.88167 [2]
Length 16 mi (26 km) [3]
Basin 291 sq mi (754 km2) [4]
Location of the mouth of Birch Creek in Oregon

Birch Creek is a 16-mile (26 km) tributary of the Umatilla River in eastern Oregon in the United States.[3] It rises at the confluence of East and West Birch creeks south of Pilot Rock, Oregon, at the base of the Blue Mountains and flows north, slightly west of the city of Pendleton.[5] It enters the Umatilla River about 49 miles (79 km) from the larger stream's confluence with the Columbia River.[6]

Birch Creek is one of the rivers that drain Oregon's northwestern corner of the Blue Mountains, flowing alongside industrial waste ponds, and over two minor impoundments before reaching the Umatilla River. Lands in the Birch Creek drainage are used for logging, grazing, dairy farming, and factory farming. Birch Creek is a source of phosphates and the resulting eutrophication of the Umatilla River.[7]

Pendleton photographer Walter S. Bowman is believed to have been born by Birch Creek.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  2. ^ a b c "Birch Creek". Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Basin Map". Umatilla Basin Watershed Council. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Luzon, K. Michele (2008). "Assessing the Hydrologic Network of the Umatilla Basin: A Water Resource Management Application of ArcGIS and ArcHydro" (PDF). Oregon State University. p. 5. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer. Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping. 1991. p. 86. ISBN 0-89933-235-8. 
  6. ^ United States Geological Survey (USGS). "United States Geological Survey Topographic Map". TopoQuest. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ Cude, Curtis. "Oregon Water Quality Index Report for the Umatilla Basin: Water Years 1986–1995". Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]