Middle Fork Clearwater River

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Middle Fork Clearwater River
Clearwateridrivermap.png
Map of the Clearwater River watershed, including the Middle Fork
Location
CountryUnited States
StateIdaho
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of Lochsa River and Selway River
 ⁃ locationLowell, Idaho
 ⁃ coordinates46°08′25″N 115°35′58″W / 46.14028°N 115.59944°W / 46.14028; -115.59944[1]
MouthClearwater River
 ⁃ location
Kooskia, Idaho
 ⁃ coordinates
46°08′44″N 115°58′57″W / 46.14556°N 115.98250°W / 46.14556; -115.98250Coordinates: 46°08′44″N 115°58′57″W / 46.14556°N 115.98250°W / 46.14556; -115.98250[1]
 ⁃ elevation
1,224 ft (373 m)
Length23 mi (37 km)[2]
Basin size3,420 sq mi (8,900 km2)[7]
Discharge 
 ⁃ locationLowell[n 1]
 ⁃ average6,532 cu ft/s (185.0 m3/s)[n 2]
 ⁃ minimum260 cu ft/s (7.4 m3/s)
 ⁃ maximum77,200 cu ft/s (2,190 m3/s)
Basin features
Tributaries 
 ⁃ leftSelway River, Clear Creek
 ⁃ rightLochsa River, Pete King Creek, Maggie Creek
TypeRecreational
DesignatedOctober 2, 1968

The Middle Fork Clearwater River is a short, but high volume river in northern Idaho and is the major source of the Clearwater River, a tributary of the Snake River. The Middle Fork flows west for 23 miles (37 km)[2] from the confluence of the Selway River and Lochsa River at Lowell, to the town of Kooskia where it joins with the South Fork Clearwater River to create the Clearwater River. The Middle Fork's entire length is within Idaho County, although a small portion of its watershed extends into Clearwater County.

The Middle Fork, along with the Selway and Lochsa Rivers, was among the original eight rivers designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It is a major migration route for Pacific chinook salmon that spawn in the Selway River.[8] Although the Middle Fork flows through a tight canyon, it is characterized by gentle Class I and II rapids suitable for floating, especially in late summer after the peak snow melt has decreased.[9]

U.S. Route 12 follows the entire length of the river.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Middle Fork Clearwater River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c USGS Topo Maps for United States (Map). Cartography by United States Geological Survey. ACME Mapper. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  3. ^ "USGS Gage #13336500 on the Selway River near Lowell, Idaho" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  4. ^ "USGS Gage #13337000 on the Lochsa River near Lowell, ID" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  5. ^ "USGS Gage #13336500 on the Selway River near Lowell, Idaho" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  6. ^ "USGS Gage #13337000 on the Lochsa River near Lowell, ID" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  7. ^ "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  8. ^ "Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater Rivers Subbasin Assessment" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. March 2001. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  9. ^ "Middle Fork Clearwater River". Rafting.com. Retrieved 2016-06-01.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There is no USGS stream gage on the Middle Fork proper, so the figure is the combination of gage #13336500 on the Selway River[3] and gage #13337000 on the Lochsa River[4]
  2. ^ There is no USGS stream gage on the Middle Fork proper, so the figure is the combination of gage #13336500 on the Selway River[5] and gage #13337000 on the Lochsa River[6]