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Togiak National Wildlife Refuge (Website)

Encompassing a total area about the same size as the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is a land of sheer coastal cliffs and headlands, saltwater lagoons and bays, rocky beaches and dunes, pristine rivers, alpine lakes, lowland tundra, upland spruce forest, alpine meadows and the craggy peaks of some of Southwest Alaska's tallest mountains. Togiak Refuge is an enriching and rewarding destination for birds, wildlife from both land and sea, and humans too!

Hundreds of thousands of cliff-nesting migratory birds return to the Bristol and Kuskokwim Bay shorelines each year, building their nests on ledges and in cracks in the cliffs, in an attempt to avoid predators. Murres, black legged kittiwakes, auklets, guillemots and cormorants all vie for these precarious nesting spots, while various species of geese, ducks and other migrating waterfowl nest, rest and feed in the less-rugged lagoons and bays. Cape Newenham and Cape Pierce likewise serve as haul-out, resting and feeding stops for Pacific walrus, Northern sea lions and harbor seals, while offshore endangered grey whales, beluga whales, menke whales and killer whales can be viewed during their migration in the fall and spring.

Moving from the ocean into the fresh water and advancing far inland each summer, the miraculous cycle of the salmon is replayed year after year. More than one million salmon, including all five species of Pacific salmon, return to spawn in the rivers, lakes and streams within the refuge. The millions of eggs and rotting carcasses of the salmon adults who have spawned and died provide nutrients for the rivers' fish, predators and plants, maintaining the health and richness of these waters of the many river drainages within the refuge. These include the largest rivers - the Goodnews, Kanektok and Togiak. Rainbow trout, arctic grayling, arctic char, lake trout, northern pike, whitefish and smelt abound in these rivers and lakes, while brown bears, eagles gulls and fox patrol the shores in search of a hearty salmon meal. Moose and caribou also make their home here. The goodnews, Kanektok and Togiak rivers all offer fantastic scenery and fishing, and make for excellent float trips, but are by no means the only accessible or worthwhile float trip destinations in the refuge. Tikchik Airventures had been flying into the refuge for many years, and can help you plan the trip that is particularly suited to meet your unique needs.


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