Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Noatak River, Gates of the Arctic National Park
Noatak River, Gates of the Arctic National Park (Al Smith/National Park Service)

The fish populations in arctic waters, although seemingly abundant, have very low growth rates and productivity, and are therefore highly susceptible to overfishing. The most widespread species in the park and preserve is the arctic grayling, which is found in nearly all permanent watercourses and those lakes that have an outlet stream.

Lake trout, northern pike, arctic char, whitefish, sheefish, salmon, long-nosed sucker, burbot, nine-spined stickleback, and slimy sculpin also occur.

The Kobuk and Koyukuk rivers are the major chum salmon spawning streams. Sheefish also spawn in the Kobuk. These fish, along with the whitefish, are the most important subsistence fish. Some lake trout and arctic char are also taken from lakes for subsistence use.

Recreational fishing is primarily for arctic grayling, arctic char, sheefish, and lake trout.

Published: 6 Oct 2009 | Last Updated: 11 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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