About the Refuge

Nowitna Scenic View

Gently rolling mountains create a backdrop for a natural drama that has been playing here for thousands of years. Wolves, bears, moose, fish, songbirds, geese -- all have a role in this performance, which features a symphony of sound, a cycle of seasons, and the rhythm of life in the boreal forest.

Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Welcomes You! 

In 1980 more than 2 million acres of river valley, wetlands, forest and tundra became the Nowitna Refuge. Winding across the refuge, the Nowitna River forms a broad floodplain that comes alive each spring with the arrival of thousands of migratory songbirds and waterfowl. The river passes through a scenic 15 mile canyon with peaks up to 2,100 feet.

The grassy margins of ponds and lakes, and many miles of rivers and streams, are important breeding habitat for waterfowl, including ducks, geese, swans and cranes. King and chum salmon, northern pike, and one of only three resident sheefish populations in Alaska can be found in the Nowitna River. Arctic grayling are in most clear water streams on the refuge. Forested lowlands give rise to mature white spruce habitat that provides valuable cover and den sites for marten, furbearers that are important to the trapping economy for local residents. Moose, wolves, lynx, wolverine, black and grizzly bear range throughout the refuge. 

Whether you come to fish, hunt, or just enjoy the scenic beauty of this wild land you are sure to come to appreciate this special part of Alaska and of our National Wildlife Refuge System. 


Kenton Moos, Refuge Manager

Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge

101 Front Street

P.O. Box 287 MS 525 

Galena, Alaska 99741-0287


Phone: (907)656-1231

Toll Free 800-656-1231

FAX: (907) 656-1708

E-Mail: kenton_moos@fws.gov