30-day Subsistence Migratory Bird Harvest Emergency Closure

A 30-day Emergency Closure has been established for the 2023 Alaska subsistence spring migratory bird harvest in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region. For more information visit 2023 Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region Subsistence Spring Waterfowl Closure

Kuskokwim River Federal Waters Closed to Gill Nets for the Protection of Chinook, Chum, and Coho Salmon

The Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge (YDNWR) Manager determined that Federal management is necessary for the conservation and the continuation of subsistence uses for Chinook, Chum, and Coho Salmon within the Federal public waters of the Kuskokwim River drainage. For more information visit Kuskokwim River Federal Waters Closed to Gill Nets for the Protection of Chinook, Chum, and Coho Salmon

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

Birds arriving in Alaska for the breeding season may be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has caused illness and death in waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, and birds of prey and some mammals. Learn more, including steps hunters can take to reduce the risk of infection and how to report observations/concerns.

Alaska's Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge is vast and productiive. 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.
COVID-19 Status Update

**Yukon Delta Refuge has temporarily changed its operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The office and Visitor Center are closed to visitors, following recommendations from local public health authorities until further notice. For more information call 907-543-3151.

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.