Coquitlam River

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

Coquitlam River
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Physical characteristics
  coordinates49°33′13″N 122°45′59″W[1]
  elevation1,034 m (3,392 ft)[2]
MouthFraser River
Port Coquitlam, Metro Vancouver
49°13′30″N 122°48′18″W[3]
4 m (13 ft)[2]
  locationPort Coquitlam[4]
  average6.04 m3/s (213 cu ft/s)[4]
  minimum0.025 m3/s (0.88 cu ft/s)
  maximum476 m3/s (16,800 cu ft/s)

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 Traboulay 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.[1] It flows south into Coquitlam Lake, a reservoir behind Coquitlam Dam, which provides a large portion of Vancouver's drinking water. The upper portion of the river and Coquitlam lake are part of the Metro Vancouver watershed. 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


  1. "Disappointment Lake". BC Geographical Names.
  2. Elevation derived from ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model, using GeoLocator, and BCGNIS coordinates.
  3. "Coquitlam River". BC Geographical Names.
  4. "Archived Hydrometric Data Search". Water Survey of Canada. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. 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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