The Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River, has provided electricity to millions of residents of Washington and Oregon since 1938.

Photograph by Stuart Thornton

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    1. Where is the Bonneville Dam located?

      The Bonneville Dam is located on the Columbia River, between Washington and Oregon.

    2. What types of fish can be seen from the viewing windows at the Bonneville Dam?

      Salmon and trout can be seen from the Bonneville Visitor Center.

    3. The Bonneville Dam supplies electricity to parts of Washington and Oregon. What is the source of the electricity?

      Hydropower from the Columbia River is the source that is turned into electricity.

    4. Look at the photograph. How do you think workers at the Bonneville Dam control the amount of water that passes through the dam?

      Gates at the top of the dam can open and close to let more or less water pass through.

    • The Bonneville Dam Visitor Center has viewing windows, out of which visitors can see fish ladders for salmon and trout. Fish ladders are artificial steps that allow fish to move upriver near a dam.
    • The Bonneville Dam supplies electricity to parts of Washington and Oregon using hydropower. Hydropower is power captured from the force or energy of moving water.
    • The Bonneville Dam was named after Captain Benjamin Bonneville. The captain was an officer in the U.S. Army, a fur trader, and an explorer of the American West.
    • The Columbia River Gorge was formed after a series of volcanic eruptions and landslides in the Cascade mountain range. These eruptions began between 50 and 18 million years ago.