For thousands of years Celilo Falls, a string of water falls on the Columbia, were a bountiful fishing ground for the Native Americans who clustered their communities around them, and an impressive sight.
The riverbed of the Columbia narrowed to a mere forty feet across, and the river dropped over eighty feet within a half mile. Not a fun situation for boats, but a great situation for fishermen who erected scaffold perches over strategic spots and benefited from the multitude of disoriented salmon, lamprey, and sturgeon.
The nine mile stretch of Celilo Falls lies about twelve miles east of where The Dalles is now, but you can’t see it any more (unless you have the right sonar equipment). In the 1950s the Army Corp of Engineers began building The Dalles Dam, to generate electricity and make that stretch of the river navigable. On March 10, 1957 the dam held back the water and the falls disappeared in the rising water.