Alagnak River


The Alagnak River, originating in Katmai National Preserve’s Kukaklek and Nonvianuk Lakes, has abundant wildlife, including brown bear, moose, beaver, river otter, bald eagle, and osprey. Visitors enjoy the fishing along this clear, braided river, as well as the striking changes in landscape, large undeveloped lakes, boreal forest, wet sedge tundra, shrubby islands, and Class I-III rapids.

The Alagnak River consists of two distinct river segments—the Alagnak and the Nonvianuk Rivers.  Approximately 83% of the lands within the Alagnak River corridor are federally owned; the remaining 17% are under private ownership.

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Designated Reach

December 2, 1980. From Kukaklek Lake to the west boundary of T13S, R43W and the entire Nonvianuk River.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values


This resource-rich riparian area was situated between native cultures, including two Yupik-speaking groups. The close geographical juxtaposition of these different groups ensured that these communities were drawn together at productive riparian sites. Sites along the Alagnak River corridor show a history of occupation from 9,000 years ago to the present. The archeological sites along the river corridor show almost continuous occupation over the last 2,200 years.


Aquatic habitat along the Alagnak is outstanding, based in part on the effect of its headwater lakes in moderating high flows. Fish diversity is outstanding, including five species of Pacific salmon, and numerous other freshwater species.


The Alagnak River represents the best of Bristol Bay sport fishing. The river provides the opportunity to pursue five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, and other favored species, such as Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, and lake trout. There are nearly continuous fish runs spread over the entire course of the season. This internationally renowned sport fishery occurs in a remote, pristine fly-in setting and is a popular float trip with visitors.


The Alagnak River flows through wild boreal forests and rolling tundra with glimpses of distant peaks. The expansive braided nature of the river is best revealed from the air, which contrasts with the intimate experience of floating the maze of river channels through dense willows and alders. The scenic beauty of the river corridor is enhanced by historic cabins and fish camps that provide an enduring connection to the past.


The Alagnak’s wildlife habitat is an outstanding representation of Bristol Bay rivers. The river’s channel complexity and gradient provide abundant and diverse aquatic and riparian habitats for healthy populations of brown bear, shorebirds, waterfowl, moose, and other river-dependent species.

Managing Partners And Contacts


Wild — 67 miles; Total — 67 miles.
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