The flushing channel connects Vancouver Lake (left) and the Columbia River (right) to funnel fresh water into the lake to improve circulation

You may have driven, biked or walked past it a hundred times, but you may not be familiar with a unique feature we call the flushing channel.

Built in 1983 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of Vancouver Lake restoration efforts, the channel runs along the western edge of the port’s Columbia Gateway property. It connects the Columbia River to Vancouver Lake, funneling fresh water from the river to help improve circulation in the lake.

The massive culverts inside the channel are protected by metal grates that keep debris and large marine life from entering the lake. The grates often collect wood and other debris from the fast-flowing Columbia River, so each year port crews use boats and heavy equipment to clear the culverts and keep water flowing into the lake.

This year crews removed about 27,000 pounds of debris from the culverts and banks. A team of professional divers also inspected the culverts and grates, installed concrete anchors on the riverside grates and placed marker buoys to help locate the grates for future maintenance.

The Port of Vancouver USA is proud to do its part to help keep Vancouver Lake usable for swimmers, kayakers, windsurfers and others who enjoy this wonderful and popular local attraction.