Togiak National Wildlife Refuge totals 4.7 million acres - an area about the size of the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Almost half of these lands, the northern 2.3 million acres, are designated as the Togiak Wilderness Area. This constitutes the second largest contiguous Wilderness Area within the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Special values of Togiak Refuge, described in our Comprehensive Conservation Plan, include:
- The Togiak Wilderness Area includes pristine rivers, clear mountain lakes, and steep sloped mountains. It provides outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation. The rugged Ahklun and Wood River Mountains, partly within the Wilderness Area, are noteworthy for their scenic values.
- The Kanektok, Goodnews, and Togiak drainages have important subsistence and sport fishery values, containing salmon, Dolly Varden, and rainbow trout among other species. The rivers are free flowing and possess excellent scenic, wildlife, riparian, and recreational values. They are important for subsistence uses. Parts of all three drainages are in the Togiak Wilderness Area.
- Sport Fishing is another special value of Togiak Refuge. The refuge attracts anglers from around the world, as well as Alaskans and other Americans. Sport fishing occurs in most refuge waters, with major concentrations of five species of salmon, Arctic grayling, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden occurring in the Togiak, Kanektok, and Goodnews rivers. These rivers have pristine habitat and excellent freshwater rearing conditions.
The rivers and fishery resources remain special and unsoiled due largely to the protection afforded by the Togiak Wilderness Area. The headwater lakes and feeder streams for the rivers mentioned above, as well as many others, lie within the wilderness. This limits use and development, protecting riparian areas, water quality, and fish habitats.
The wild lands of the refuge, including the Togiak Wilderness Area, provide valuable and diverse habitat for the fish and wildlife that make the area their home. The conservation of freshwater streams and rivers, wetland and alpine tundra, boreal forests, and coastal cliffs and beaches allow an amazing diversity of species to find suitable homes here. The lands also offer amazing opportunities for recreation and education.
To learn more about land ownership patterns within Togiak Refuge, visit our land ownership page.
To learn more about wilderness and the National Wilderness Preservation System, visit Wilderness.net.
Last updated: October 14, 2008