July 11, 2024: Kuskokwim River Mainstem Fishing Opportunities

Pursuant to authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge (YDNWR) Manager, as In-Season Manager, hereby announces five gillnet fishing opportunities for Federally qualified subsistence users only downstream of the Kalskag Bluffs and Uknavik Slough (Kalskag Line) to the mouth of the Kuskokwim River at the Refuge boundary.  Learn more in the press release.

Press Release Page Press Release PDF


Birds are sensitive during the nesting season. Vegetation clearing, ground disturbance, heavy wake near shorelines and other site construction and recreational activities can destroy eggs or nestlings or cause nest abandonment. If you encounter an active nest, leave it be and give it space until young hatch and depart the area. Do not destroy eggs, chicks, or adults of wild bird species. Learn about the laws that govern migratory birds in Alaska including possible exceptions for subsistence gathering. More information on avoiding waterbird harassment and timing recommendations for construction activities to minimize impacts to nesting birds.

Alaska's Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge is vast and productive. The refuge nestles between Alaska’s largest rivers, the Yukon and the Kuskokwim Rivers, where the tundra meets the Bering Sea. Its diversity of habitats support one of the largest aggregations of waterbirds in the world. The hundreds of miles of rivers and streams provide critical spawning and rearing habitat for Pacific salmon species. Drier upland habitats harbor populations of brown and black bears, caribou, moose, wolves, and muskox. Along the coast, the Bering Sea waters host various marine mammals, including whales that pass during migration.

This landscape is the ancestral home of the Yup’ik, Cup’ik, and Deg Xit'an people of Alaska. This is a region rich in culture, where residents depend on resources to support an active subsistence way of life. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is among the most populated rural areas in Alaska, with over 50 Indigenous communities.

Visit Us

Rainbow over tundra wetlands in late spring, Yukon Delta Refuge.

Experience the vastness of the tundra, the force of the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, and the spectacle of wildlife migration at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge offers various recreational opportunities to visitors and residents alike, including hiking, camping, fishing, birdwatching, and hunting. Visiting this refuge requires good advance planning: like most of Alaska, access to the refuge is by boat or small airplane, as there are no roads across the landscape. Please consider seasonal variations and variable weather conditions when planning your visit.

A visitor center and administrative office are located in Bethel, AK, within a 10-minute drive from the city airport. The office is open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm year-round, except for major Federal Holidays. Call ahead to to get more information about the refuge and how to plan your visit.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Soaring in the sky, swimming through the waters, or roaming the land, the refuge protects a wide diversity of fish and wildlife species across the vast landscape of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.   

      Our Library

      a line drawing of a sea otter holding her pup
      Download these digital coloring pages created by Alaskan artists to learn more about wildlife and conservation, while creating works of art.

      Projects and Research

      The Yukon Delta Refuge works with partners and communities to conserve fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. Biologists conduct monitoring and research efforts on species of natural and cultural significance, and where adequate, provide the science to support sustainable subsistence opportunities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

      Current monitoring and research efforts include:

      • Kuskokwim fisheries harvest surveys, with emphasis on Chinook salmon
      • Monitoring and management efforts of emperor geese
      • Monitoring of Threatened and Endangered species, such as Steller’s eiders
      • Monitoring and management of Mulchatna caribou.