U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

This 3.5 million acre Refuge lies within the expansive floodplain of the Koyukuk River in interior Alaska.
101 Front St
P.O. Box 287
Galena, AK   99741
E-mail: koyukuk@fws.gov
Phone Number: 907-656-1231
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Extensive wetlands are a trademark of the Koyukuk Refuge.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
School programs and summer activities related to refuge wildlife and habitats are conducted in Galena, Huslia, Hughes, Koyukuk, Nulato and Kaltag by Refuge Staff. The Koyukuk Refuge office in Galena has an extensive library of teaching materials including curricula, videos, posters, reference books and teaching kits. A catalog of items which may be borrowed from the library is available from the Refuge office. Refuge faunal lists and summaries of refuge biological studies are available on the Region 7 Koyukuk Refuge website.

Several species of salmon migrate up the Yukon and Koyukuk Rivers and their tributaries to spawning habitats in the refuge. These fish provide a vital subsistence resource to residents of local villages. Sport anglers who venture into Koyukuk and Kaiyuh can be rewarded with some spectacular fishing, with northern pike and sheefish found along virtually all of the refuges' rivers and tributaries. Arctic grayling are found in several of the clear, fast-flowing streams that feed into the Koyukuk River.

Subsistence hunting is important to residents of the six villages within or near Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge. Subsistence and sport hunting are allowed on refuge lands in accordance with Alaska state and federal regulations. Moose hunting is popular on the Koyukuk Refuge. A large portion of the refuge is included in the Koyukuk Controlled Use Area, which prohibits the use of aircraft for moose hunting. Caribou hunting can be good in years that portions of the Western Arctic Herd winter in the region. The refuge is home to both black and grizzly bears, wolves and smaller game such as snowshoe hares, grouse and ptarmigan.

The Koyukuk Refuge office offers interpretive displays, books, maps, videos and other resources related to the wildlife, plants, and ecosystems of the region. Naturalist-led activities, such as bird walks, plant identification field trips, and nature/art workshops are conducted periodically. Contact the refuge office for schedules.

Wildlife Observation
Wildlife viewing opportunities abound in the Koyukuk and Kaiyuh region. In spring hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and songbirds converge on the refuge to nest. These birds arrive from wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Mexico, Central America and South America. With the warming weather of spring and early summer, brown and black bears emerge from their dens and forage to fill stomachs pinched by hibernation. Be sure to come well equipped with headnets and bug dope during summer months (May through September), when mosquitos and other biting insects are by far the most numerous of the refuge's abundant wildlife! Fall colors create a magnificent backdrop for rutting bull mooseand foraging bears and foxes. Some of the refuge's most spectacular natural shows occur in the winter when the stories of animal travel are written in the snow. Caribou arrive in the lowlands, while wolves, lynx and smaller furbearers actively seek out prey.

The scenic rivers and mountains of the Koyukuk and Kaiyuh area provide plenty of material for the eager photographer. The magic hues of the long northern twilight add to the beauty of the scenery. Visitors floating the upper portion of the Koyukuk River between Hughes and Huslia will probably find excellent opportunities to photograph wildlife. Large gravel bars along the wide river offer firm, dry places to set up a camera, with good opportunities to see bears, moose and even wolves. Count on a long lens, and not a dangerous close approach to wildlife, for great pictures!

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a national educational program to inform visitors about reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities, particularly non-motorized recreation. Leave No Trace principles and practices are based on an abiding respect for the natural world and our fellow wildland visitors. We can act on behalf of the places and wildlife that inspire us by adopting the skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace.

1. Plan ahead and prepare.
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
3. Dispose of waste properly.
4. Leave what you find.
5. Minimize campfire impacts.
6. Respect wildlife.
7. Be considerate of other visitors.

For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)

Refuge lands are open to the public at all times. The refuge office in Galena is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Entrance Fees
There are no visitor's fees charged anywhere on the refuge.

- Refuge Profile Page -