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Photos of rivers for students

River Itchen watermeadows, Winchester, Hampshire, England

Last updated: May 18, 2012.

Looking for photos of rivers to illustrate your school or college project? You've come to the right place. We've collected together a mini "photo library" of over 50 public domain (copyright free) images you can use without worrying about copyright. Most of the photos on this page come from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and we thank them for their generosity in making so many photos available on their website; some of the other photos come from the US Navy; and there are a few photos we took ourselves. There are lots more river photos on the FWS photo library (keyword search on "river").

We also have a separate page of water pollution photos.

River Itchen watermeadows, Winchester. Photo by: UK Rivers Network

Click on the thumbnail image on the left to link to a full-size picture. If you need a hi-res image for printing, you'll need to visit the website on the right and search.

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Description Source
Rio Grande Big Bend National Park
US rivers and streams

The Rio Grande river in Big Bend National Park. Photo by Gary M. Stolz.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Tuluksak River
US rivers and streams

View across the Tuluksak River and tundra, western Alaska. Photo by John Tobin, US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Kayaking on the Black River
US rivers and streams

Kayaking on the Black River, Yukon FlatsNational Wildlife Refuge.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Chandalar River in Summer
US rivers and streams

Chandalar River in Summer, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Chandalar River in Summer
US rivers and streams

Chandalar River in Summer, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Chuck Young, US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Cheat River in West Virginia
US rivers and streams

Cheat River in West Virginia. Photo by Ryan Hagerty.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
North Fork, Flathead River, MT
US rivers and streams

North Fork, Flathead River, MT. Photo by Ryan Hagerty.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Seining for invertebrates
US rivers and streams

Teamwork protects our rivers: seining for Invertebrates in West Virginia. Photo by Brian Jonkers.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
River Piddle, Wareham
UK rivers and streams

River Piddle, Wareham, Dorset photographed in summer. Photo by Chris Woodford.
UK Rivers Network
River Itchen in winter
UK rivers and streams

River Itchen, Winchester, Hampshire. A chalk-stream river photographed in winter. Photo by Chris Woodford.
UK Rivers Network
River Test, Mottisfont Abbey, Romsey, Hampshire
UK rivers and streams

The chalk-stream river River Test passing through the grounds of Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire. Photo by Chris Woodford.
UK Rivers Network
River Bourne in summer
UK rivers and streams

River Bourne, Winterbourne Gunner, Wiltshire. A chalk-stream river photographed in Summer. Photo by Malcolm Morley.
Wikipedia
Noatak River Delta, Alaska
River features: deltas

Noatak River Delta, Alaska. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Noatak River Delta - Aerial View
River features: deltas

Noatak River Delta by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Aerial of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
River features: islands

Aerial of Jameson Island in the Big Muddy. Photo by Steve Hillebrand.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Meander of the Innoko River
River features: meanders

The meandering Innoko River at the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo by Sidney Charbonet.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Meander of the Innoko River
River features: meanders

The meandering Innoko River at the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Aerial view of mountains and braided river, Alaska.
River features: braided river

Braided River outwash plain. Photo by Chuck Young.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Confluence and meander
River features: confluence and meanders

Alatna and Koyukuk River confluence near Allakaket. Photo by Steve Hillebrand.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bank erosion
River features: bank erosion

Side channel of the Missouri River, showing erosion and downed trees. Photo by Photo by Steve Hillebrand.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Confluence of Chisana And Nabesna Rivers
River features: confluence

Confluence of Chisana And Nabesna Rivers. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Canning River Confluence of Marsh Fork
River features: confluence

Canning River Confluence of Marsh Fork. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Braided river
River features: braided river

Braided River and Road Scars in Summer - Aerial View. Photo by Elaine B. Rhode.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge
River features: cypress swamp

The ancient bald cypress trees, some more than 1,000 years old, in Cypress Creek Refuge, Illinois, part of an area designated a "Wetland of International Importance" by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Photo by Ned Trovillion.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
River features: swamp

Bond Swamp NWR, Round Oak, Georgia: Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge sits on the fall line that separates the piedmont plateau and the coastal plains. The Ocmulgee River and Stone Creek, which run through the refuge from north to south, were important to Native Americans from Ice Age hunters to the Muscogee (Creeks) and Seminoles of more recent history as well as early European explorers and frontiersmen. Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Waterfall
River features: waterfall

Waterfall. Photo by Curtis J. Carley.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Waterfall
River features: waterfall

Tower Falls. Photo by Bruce Halstead.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Beaver dam
River features: beaver dam

Beaver dam. Photo by Luther C. Goldman.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Trinity Lake, California
River features: human dam

Trinity Lake on Trinity River, formed behind Trinity Dam, California.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Hydroelectric dam on Columbia River
River features: hydroelectric dam

Dam on Columbia River. Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Triple Weir, River Avon, Bath
River features: weir

The triple weir on the River Avon, Bath, England. Photo by Chris Woodford.
UK Rivers Network
Combat Fishing" Along the Banks of the Russian River
Fish and rivers

Combat Fishing Along the Banks of the Russian River. Photo by Steve Hillebrand
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Brook trout
Fish and rivers

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Photo by Eric Engbretson.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Fisherman with 30-pound King Salmon
Fish and rivers

Fisherman with 30-pound King Salmon caught on the Deshka River in southcentral Alaska. Photo by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Alexander Creek Chum Salmon
Fish and rivers

A chum salmon taken at Alexander Creek, Alaska. Photo by Jack Roberts.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Arctic grayling
Fish and rivers

Arctic grayling at the Gulkana River, Paxson, Alaska. Photo by Phil Coleman.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Salmon smolts
Fish and rivers

Atlantic Salmon smolts. Photo by Peter Steenstra.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Salmon leaping
Fish and rivers

Painting of salmon leaping by Bob Hines.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Arctic salmon leaping
Fish and rivers

Arctic salmon leaping. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
River marsh habitat
River habitats

Airport Marsh at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Michigan. The habitats protected and restored by the refuge will provide hospice for some 300 species of migratory birds, including 29 waterfowl species, and 65 fish species. Some 3 million migrating waterfowl naturally follow the western shoreline of Lake Erie, where they stop to rest and feed in the river and in its nearby marshes. Photo by Gary Muehlenhardt.

US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
River habitats

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Brigham City, Utah 74,000 acres of river delta spill across the Great Salt Lake valley welcoming hundreds of species of waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. Photo by USFWS Photo.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Brown Bear at River's Edge
River habitats

A brown bear hunting at the edge of a river, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo by Steve Hillebrand.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
A brown bear balanced on a rock in a river
River habitats

Brown bear on rock in river. Photo by Chuck Young.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
River otters
River habitats

A pair of river otters. Photo by Jim Leopold.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Flood damage, Alimodian, Philippines, 2008
Flooding

A flooded river near Alimodian in the Republic of the Philippines flows perilously close to homes. Photo by Jennifer S. Kimball, US Navy.
US Navy
Flood damage
Flooding

Flood damage, outhouse overturned. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Flood Damage, Inlet and Levee Destroyed
Flooding

Flood damage, inlet and levee destroyed. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Flood Damage, Road Washed Out
Flooding

Flood damage, road washed out. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Cessna plane on river
River transport

Cessna Floatplane Parked on Keoklevik River. Photo by Donna Dewhurst.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Naval training on the Salt River, Kentucky
River transport

Naval training on the Salt River, Kentucky. Photo by Jayme Pastoric.
US Navy
River Rafting
River transport

River rafting on the Colorado River, Arizona. Photo by Jim Williams.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Umiak: native, skin-covered boat
River transport

An umiak: a traditional skin-covered boat used by native hunters. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Willamette River's Steel Bridge
River bridges

A ship passes under the Willamette River's Steel Bridge. Photo by Thomas Brennan.
US Navy
A river in Bangladesh
What rivers mean to people

People gather on a riverbank in Bangladesh to receive supplies from a dhow in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Sidr. Photo by Ezekiel R. Kitandwe.
US Navy
Bangladesh river
What rivers mean to people

People gather on a riverbank in Bangladesh to receive supplies from a dhow in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Sidr. Photo by Anthony J. DeCapite.
US Navy

Photos on Flickr

If you're looking for a photo of a specific British river, try the Flickr group pool: River Names of Britain (this link takes you to an A-Z index of rivers by name). Please pay careful attention to copyright notices if you use photos from Flickr: many photos are copyright, though quite a lot are published under various Creative Commons licenses, generously allowing you to reuse them for non-profit purposes under certain conditions.

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