Skeena River

Skeena River at Telegraph Point

Yellowhead Highway in the valley of the Skeena River

Position of the Skeena River

The Skeena River is a river in the west of the province of British Columbia.

  • 2.1 Flora
  • 2.2 Fauna


The Skeena River is the second longest river, the entire run is in the area of the Province of British Columbia. The river is about 579 km long from its source on the Spatsizi plateau to its mouth in the Hecate Strait near Prince Rupert.

The catchment area of ​​Skeena River is approximately 54,400 km ² in size, the average discharge near the mouth of 2155 m³ / s


The river rises south of Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park in a high valley of the Spatsizi plateau near the abandoned airfield Kluakaz at the confluence of Kluakaz Creek and Garner Creek at an altitude of about 1500 m. The source is located near the watershed to Klappan River, which is one of the main tributaries of the Stikine River.

It flows in a southeasterly direction, the Valley of the McEvoy and Jackson Flats between the eastern Tatlatui Range and the westerly Groundhog Range and Range Slamgeesh which belong to the Skeena Mountains. At the confluence of the River Sustut he turns west and runs between Slamgeesh Range and Range Sicintine to Fourth Cabin. From here it runs largely south through a valley widens to between Kisipox range and the massif of Mount Thomlinson ( 2454 m) in the northern Babine Range.

In Hazelton opens the Bulkley River, the Skeena River turns to the southwest and breaks through first the Hazelton Mountains. Near the massif of the Seven Sisters Peak ( 2755 m) force the wet range and the Bulkley River in a range extending southward narrow valley that passes after the Kitselas Canyon in a broad valley near Terrace, where the river widens. Here he turns to the west and breaks through the Coast Mountains before flowing into the Chatham Sound and the Telegraph Pass between Haysport and Port Essington.

The railway line, which was projected from Fort St. John to Dease Lake should be parallel to the upper reaches of the river between the mouth of the River Sustut and the source. Since the track bed was already built, located in the valley many now abandoned settlements - Kluakaz, Kluatanton, Chipmunk and Monque (from north to south). Only near the mouth of the Babine River signs of human civilization can be seen again, here ends a road that opens up the Babine River Corridor Provincial Park. From the 1936 discontinued settlement Kuldo - around 40 kilometers north - are no remains visible remains of the running here telegraph line between San Francisco and Dawson are still available.

The course of the river follow from Hazelton to near the mouth of the Yellowhead Highway 16 and the line of the Canadian National Railway.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada - a ministry of the federal government - divided the system of the Skeena River as follows:

  • Headwaters of Bear River, Johanson Creek, Shilahou Creek, Slamgeesh River, Sustut River
  • Middle course: Babine River, Boucher Creek, Buck Creek, Bulkley River, Comeau Creek, Cullon Creek, Date Creek, Deep Canoe Creek, Fulton River, Harold Price Creek, Kispiox River, Kitseguecla River, Maxan Creek, McCully Creek, McQueen Creek, Morice River, Nangeese River, nanika River, Nilkitkwa River, Pinkut Creek, Richfield Creek, Shegunia River, Simpson Creek, Stephens Creek, Suskwa River, Sweetin River, toboggan Creek
  • Underflow: Alwyn Creek, Big Falls Creek, Cedar Creek, Coldwater Creek, Copper River [= Zymoetz River ], Deep Creek, Dog Tag Creek, Ecstall River, Erlandsen Creek, Exchamsiks River, Exstew River, Fiddler Creek, Gitnadoix River, Goat Creek, Johnston Creek, Johnston Lake, Kaeen Creek, Kasiks River, Khyex River, Kitsumkalum River, Kitwanga River, Kleanza Creek, Lakelse River, Lean -to Creek, Limonite Creek, Magar Creek, Moonlit Creek, Salmon Run Creek, Sockeye Creek, Spring Creek, Star Creek, Thomas Creek, Trapline Creek, White Creek, Williams Creek, Zymagotitz River, Zymoetz River [= Copper River ]

Natural space

The river is done mostly in narrow mountain valleys, only around Hazelton and Terrace to withdraw the mountains and hills give a marshy area. In the area of ​​the river there are several nature reserves:

  • Spatsizi Plateau Provincial Park
  • Sustut Provincial Park
  • Babine River Provincial Park
  • Kitwanga Mountain Provincial Park
  • Seven Sisters Provincial Park
  • Kleanza Creek Provincial Park
  • Gitnadoix River Provincial Park
  • Exchamsiks River Provincial Park
  • Kitson Iceland Provincial Marine Park


The area of the river is done mostly in the zone of the Pacific, temperate rain forest, which merges with increasing inland and altitude in mixed deciduous forest and sub-alpine tundra.


Among sports fishermen the river for salmon and rainbow trout is known, the salmon are used commercially. Annually pull alone 5 million sockeye salmon to spawn in the river. The rest of the catchment area of the river is home to the rare Kermode next black bears are more common, grizzlies are more rare.


The Skeena River is at least 7,000 years, since settlement area of indigenous peoples. Today settle its lower reaches to about the Kitselas Canyon coastal Tsimshian, on the middle and upper reaches settle the Gitxsan who belong to the Tsimshian language group.

The Hudson 's Bay Company, the local center in Port Simpson ( today Lax Kw'alaams ) near the mouth of Portland Inlet and the Work Channel was founded in the Chatham Sound in 1834, laid with Port Essington in the estuary of the river in 1871 a port for traffic with steamboats on the Skeena River. It was the starting point for many prospectors during the gold rush in the Omineca River, which navigated the river to Hazelton with steam ships ( Sternwheeler ) and moved on from there to the Babine Lake and the Omineca River.