Anderson River (Northwest Territories)

Infobox River
river_name = Anderson River

caption =
origin =north of Great Bear Lake
mouth =Beaufort Sea
basin_countries = Canada
length =692 km
elevation =
mouth_elevation =
discharge =
watershed =
The Anderson River is in the Northwest Territories in northern Canada. It originates in lakes north of Great Bear Lake; its headwaters are in the vicinity of the hamlet of Colville Lake (although further east and south). It flows north and west in the area between the Mackenzie and Coppermine Rivers. Its mouth is on the Beaufort Sea on the Arctic Ocean near the eastern end of Liverpool Bay at about 70 degrees north latitude. Its main tributary is the Carnwath River. The Anderson River is named after James Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company.cite web |url= |title=Anderson Plain HS Ecoregion | |accessdate=2008-01-24] cite web |url= |title=Anderson River |publisher=The Canadian Encyclopedia |accessdate=2008-01-24]


The Anderson River's northwestern sloping drainage basin is a part of the Anderson Plain High Subarctic (HS) Ecoregion, itself a subsection of the Northern Great Plains HS Ecoregion. The river encompasses wildly varied landscape. Canyons are common in the upper and middle sections, the largest of which is Falcon Canyon, at 6km long and 40m (approx) deep. The upper sections of the river are in taiga, with black spruce being the dominant tree. White spruce and shrublands grow on the river's floodplain and valley slopes. There are large deposits of alluvial terraces, along with cretaceous shales, Devonian limestone, and Devonian dolomite. Closer to the ocean, the river pulls above treeline, and continues through rolling tundra east of Inuvik.

Whitewater is most intense in the middle section of the river (around Falcon Canyon and upstream). A couple of class III rapids, lots of class I and II, and no major falls make the Anderson a fun, but not overly demanding whitewater run for experienced paddlers.


Wildlife is abundant on the Anderson. The Bluenose Barren-ground Caribou herd, which calves further east near Bluenose Lake, migrates south down parts of the Anderson River valley in July. Musk ox, moose, and grizzly bears are also common along the river.

Bird life is also abundant and varied. However, the Canadian Wildlife Service's 1999 to 2008 Field Project at the Anderson River Delta entitled "Impact of Increased Harvest on the Western Arctic Snow Goose Population" shows a decline in Snow Goose. [cite web |url= |title=Field Projects: Geese and Swans | |accessdate=2008-01-24]

On the delta and on the Arctic ocean, Ringed Seals and Bearded Seals may be seen. On the ocean itself, pods of Beluga whales are not uncommon.


The Anderson River area was the historic home of Inuit, most of whom died after exposure by Euro-Canadians to scarlet fever in 1865. The Hudson's Bay Company had a trading post at the river's mouth, now the location of the community of Stanton.


External links

* [ Photos]

[ A canoe trip to Anderson River]

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