Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge

Nowitna is approximately 200 miles west of Fairbanks in the central Yukon River valley. The refuge encompasses forested lowlands, hills, lakes, marshes, ponds, and streams. The dominant feature on Nowitna is the Nowitna River—a nationally designated wild river. This magnificent river provides spawning grounds for northern pike and sheefish. However, the primary reason the refuge was established was to protect waterfowl and their habitat.

Nowitna is one of four refuges (Nowitna, Innoko, Kanuti, and Koyukuk refuges) encompassed by a solar basin. A solar basin is characterized by encircling hills, light winds, low rainfall, severe winters and short warm summers. The summer sun encircles these refuges without setting.

The refuge's mix of habitats supports varied wildlife. Black bear and moose are common throughout Nowitna. Marten, mink, wolverine, beaver, and muskrat are important furbearers that provide income (furs), food, and recreation for local residents.

VISITOR USE: The Nowitna River is an outstanding river for floating. Moose and bear hunting are a major activity. Fishing for northern pike and sheefish is excellent.

Refuge Manager
Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 287
Galena, Alaska 99741
(907) 656-1231

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 13 Sep 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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