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Visitor Activities

Innoko Refuge is open to a number of recreational opportunities.  Only the most common activities are listed here.  Hunting, fishing, and trapping are allowed in accordance with Federal Subsistence regulations and Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulations.  Opportunities for solitude abound for the well prepared adventurer.
 

  • Hunting

    Innoko National Wildlife Refuge supports a healthy moose population, and hunters from Alaska and the Lower 48 do travel to the refuge in search of this largest member of the deer family.  However, most of the hunters that visit the refuge, primarily in search of moose or waterfowl, are residents of neighboring villages (Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, and Holy Cross) or the nearby towns (Galena, McGrath and Bethel). Caribou, black bear and other furbearers are also pursued in season.  Furbearers are also taken through trapping, including wolf, wolverine, marten, beaver and lynx.

    Visit our Rules & Regulations page to learn more about hunting and trapping at Innoko.

  • Fishing

    As is the case with hunting, Innoko's isolated location and lack of facilities limit the number of sport anglers that visit the refuge.  Most sport fishing is done while floating the Innoko river, and the angling that rewards the rare visitors can be spectacular.  The Innoko River and its vast number of connected lakes provide habitat for large and aggressive northern pike, ranging in size up to over 45 inches.  Additionally, whitefish, grayling and a few salmon are taken from the waters of the Innoko River.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    One of the most enjoyable and practical ways to see and visit this vast refuge is by floating down the Innoko, Iditarod, or Dishna rivers.  A leisurely float trip should provide ample opportunities to see and photograph wildlife.   Innoko is blessed with a wealth of birds in the summer, with an estimated 130 species nesting on the refuge, moose, grizzly and black bear are also likely sightings, as a beaver, wolves and smaller mammals.  Float trippers must plan to fly their boats and gear to the upstream reach of their proposed trip and also to be picked up somewhere downstream, as there is no road access in the region.

  • Interpretation

    Refuge System interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world.  Interpretive displays and printed materials, including an Alaska Geographic bookstore, are housed in the refuge headquarters in McGrath.

  • Environmental Education

    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  Contact or visit Innoko National Wildlife Refuge to learn more.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

    Educational programs are primarily directed towards schools in the Iditarod Area School District, with a focus on schools in villages near the refuge and in McGrath where the headquarters is located.  Each year a science camp is held in August at a site downriver from the town of McGrath.

  • Photography

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography.  We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures! 

    A leisurely float trip (see Wildlife Viewing above)  provides opportunities to photograph creatures that come to the river to flee insects or predators and to find food and water. If float-trip photographers (or any other Innoko visitors) plan to venture ashore, they're advised to wear hip boots. Most refuge lands accessible by river consist of low lying marsh or bog. Be aware that mosquitos and other biting bugs are abundant in season. Come equipped with a good repellent, a headnet and a mosquito-tight tent, or you might be too busy itching and slapping to focus your lens. 

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Jun 21, 2013
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