National Wildlife Refuge
|Building 4, Fish and Wildlife Service Road
P.O. Box 298
King Salmon, AK 99613
Phone Number: 907-246-4250 or 907-246-3339
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Ruth Lake, one of many special places on the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge|
Environmental education programs are provided to local schools and villages on the Alaska Peninsula. The refuge staff conducted the first "Spirit of Becharof" Ecosystem Camp for high school students, in cooperation with local schools and other partners, during the summer of 1997. This environmental education program is planned to become an annual partnership event.
The 290,000 acre Becharof Lake serves as a nursery for the world's second largest run of sockeye salmon. It's estimated that this body of water and its tributaries provide the Bristol Bay commercial fishery with as many as six million adult salmon a year! Chinook, coho, pink and chum salmon also spawn in refuge waters in season, and the unlikely angler who becomes bored with landing salmon can find arctic grayling, Dolly Varden char, rainbow and lake trout, burbot and northern pike in the refuge's lakes, rivers and streams.
Excellent hunting opportunities, primarily for brown bear, attract many visitors to Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge supports one of the highest concentrations of brown bear in Alaska. (In fact, Becharof and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge combined are thought to be home to as many as 3000 of these magnificent animals.) Outfitters and air charters are located in King Salmon.
The King Salmon Visitor Center offers a variety of interpretive exhibits related to the natural and cultural resources of the Alaska Peninsula. Highlights include Native peoples; commercial, sport and subistence fishing; the life cycles of salmon; geology and vulcanology; brown bears; marine mammals; and other birds, plants and "watchable wildlife."
Flightseeing charters out of King Salmon allow the visitor to see wildlife as well as some spectacular scenery, but hiking and camping offer the best opportunities for wildlife observation. Whatever activity takes one onto Becharof, however, the visitor is wise to practice "bear smart" camping practices, especially during the salmon runs, and to never approach bears too closely.
As with wildlife observation, the best photo opportunities are going to be found by those visitors who take the time to hike and camp on the refuge. And the "bear aware" advice above goes double for photographers, who in thier eagerness to get that perfect shot sometimes forget that objects in the lens may be closer than they appear!
For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)
Refuge lands are open to the public at all times. The visitor center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week from May through September and six days a week (closed Sundays) from October through April.
There are no visitor's fees charged anywhere on the refuge.
|- Refuge Profile Page -|