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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.