|a l a s k a j o u r n e y . c o m|
Location/Size: Encompasses north coast of Bristol Bay and Ahklun Mountains, contiguous with Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge and Wood-Tikchik State Park. 4.1 million acres (2.3 million acres designated wilderness).
Main Activities: Salmon and trout fishing, wildlife observation, rafting, coastal kayaking, wilderness exploration.
Gateway Towns/Getting There: Dillingham/scheduled air service from Anchorage; Togiak, Goodnews Bay, Quinhagak, Manokotak, and Platinum/regular small-plane and charter air service from Dillingham. Refuge access: coastal charter boat and sea kayak, air drop-offs.
Facilities, Camping, Lodging: No facilities. Primitive camping. Limited facilities in settlements within refuge bounds.
This region of rough, low mountains, glacier-cut valleys, and wetland flats includes breeding areas for waterbirds returning from wintering locations around the Pacific. Spotted seals and seven species of whale are found in the coastal waters, while 1,500 miles of spawning rivers and streams are a vital link in Southwestern salmon fisheries. Several good water routes originate in the Ahklun Mountains, a couple with convenient coastal take-outs.
The Walrus Island State Game Sanctuary is contiguous with Togiak N.W.R., encompassing four main islands, several smaller islands, and a stretch of coastline east of Togiak Bay. Each spring, Round Island hosts up to 12,000 male walruses that gather on the beach well into July. Steller sea lions also bask ashore and 450,000 seabirds nest on the rugged isles. A permit is required to visit the sanctuary and strict rules apply. Youll pay about $200 for a round-trip flight from Dillingham to the town of Togiak, then $300 for the charter boat to Round Island. There youll enjoy restricted camping and observation with a handful of others for several days.
For details and an application, contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 1030, Dillingham, AK 99576, 842-2334. An application form and general information may be found on-line at www.state.ak.us/local/akpages/FISH.GAME/wildlife/region2/refuge2/rnd-isl.htm.