Kettle River

The designated portion of the river is the mainstem of the West Kettle River. Stretching 290 km from its headwaters in the Monashee Mountains to its confluence with the Columbia River, the Kettle River system drains a total of 9,800 square kilometres. Of this area, 8,300 square kilometres are within British Columbia while the remaining 1,500 square kilometres lie across the international border in Washington State. The Kettle River initially drops 190 metres in elevation within its first 60 kilometres, before assuming a more gradual gradient and meandering across a wide valley for the remainder of its course.

The most significant land uses within the Kettle River Valley are agriculture, rural homesteading, and ranching. However, forestry, transportation, mining and quarrying interests are also present along the river. The river itself supports numerous water licenses for domestic use, irrigation and power generation.

The Kettle River is an extremely popular recreational river, good for trout fishing, and also for canoeing because of its accessibility, scenic qualities and lack of natural hazards. Many stretches of the Kettle River are adjacent to roads, making the river accessible to activities such as picnicking and other shoreline activities. Historically, the river valley has been important to the Okanagan and Shuswap First Nations. It has also been significant in the development of the Dewdney Trail, an important overland route between the Kootenays and the coast that followed parts of the river in the lower portion of the valley near the border. Similarly, the Kettle Valley Railway, was another important early transportation link in British Columbia using the valley. More recently, agriculture has been the primary activity that has characterized the landscape and human activity of the valley.

The Kettle River spans a transition zone of the Okanagan Highlands, between the Okanagan Valley and the Monashee Mountains. Indigenous tree species include subalpine fir, coastal western hemlock, Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and Engelmann spruce. The river is home to a rare species of fish named the Umatilla dace, and also supports a number of other trout and salmon species. Wildlife found in the area include moose, elk, deer, and bear.

Land use within the area is broadly defined in the West Kootenay-Boundary Land Use Plan

Proclaimed B.C. Rivers: