The Stikine River originates in the Cassiar and Stikine Mountains of northwestern
British Columbia and drains a 51,000-square-kilometre basin before
crossing the border with the United States on the Alaska Panhandle and discharging
through several channels into the Pacific. The upper portion of the river basin
is a semi-arid plateau of up to 1,900 metres in elevation, while the lower
portion of the river drains a heavily-glaciated region of the Coast Mountains
characterized by high precipitation. The main tributary the Iskut River joins
the Stikine 11 km upstream from the Alaska border
and accounts for about 25% of the river's flow.
A dominant natural feature of the river is the Grand Canyon of the Stikine
which, beginning almost 300 km below the
source, extends for almost 100 km down river.
The topography of the canyon area, as well as other sites along the Stikine
and its tributaries, give the basin significant potential for hydro power
development. Mineral development has also been a longstanding focus of activity
in the basin, with rich deposits of copper, gold, silver, molybdenum and
The Stikine River also supports an important fishery including all five
salmon species. Its wild and natural environment has also supported a
wide range of wildlife species in the basin. Hunting, fishing, hiking and
river recreation have been popular recreational pursuits.
The upper portion of the Stikine River is now within Stikine River Park
and Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park. A large downstream portion of the
river is within the Lower Stikine-Iskut Coastal Grizzly/Salmon Zone as defined
in the Cassiar Iskut-Stikine Land and Resource Management Plan.
Proclaimed B.C. Rivers: