Columbia Basin and National Wildlife Refuge Lakes, Sheep Lakes, Potholes Canal and Chain Lakes
In the heart of the Columbia Basin in Eastern Washington is a boating paradise of lakes and canals that few places in the world can rival. There are 3 specific Overlapping areas known as the Potholes Canal and associated Chain Lakes, the Sheep Lakes, and the well-known Columbia National Wildlife Refuge all of these are within the region known as the Drumheller Channeled Scablands. Up until 1951 the area was an arid wasteland with very little ability to support life.
With creation of the Columbia Basin Hydroelectric Project (starting with the Grand Coulee Dam and associated canals) all that changed. Some lakes in this area were created as wider spots in the canals or via large and small dams, but many others were unplanned, created by the seepage of water through the basalt.
Specifically this area is a recreational paradise for kayakers, fishermen, sailors, waterfowl watchers and hunters, hikers, mountain bikers, etc. In this section of our Index we give you the most accurate and detailed information related to boat launches, access points, recreational info, etc.
Accessing the lakes and canal within the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge require one to call or visit their website to affirm what areas of the park are open to various activities such as fishing and hunting, etc. We do not post that info here because the info is constantly changing.