Instream Flow Program

Water of sufficient quality and quantity are among the essential elements for sustaining production of Alaska's valuable fish and wildlife resources in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands. The department’s Instream Flow Program (IFP) provides scientific expertise, core personnel, data collection, and hydrologic analyses to make recommendations for sustaining fish and wildlife production, and ensures those recommendations are consistent with state, federal, and local law.

Instream Flow Reservations

The amount of water flowing in a river or lake fluctuates seasonally, and these variations are necessary for aquatic ecosystems to function properly. The Instream Flow Reservations Program, is tasked with protecting aquatic resources by quantifying streamflow and acquiring water rights for the purpose of sustaining Alaska's fish and wildlife resources. To date, approximately 5,000 miles of fish habitat have been protected on over 300 rivers and multiple lakes. Visit the Instream Flow Reservations page to view a map of our current and pending instream flow reservations.

Hydroelectric Projects

Most hydroelectric projects in Alaska are licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC licenses determine how to allocate river flows between energy generation and other beneficial uses recognized by the Federal Power Act as well as other applicable laws. IFP participates in the entire FERC licensing process, coordinating and providing comments and technical expertise to FERC and the project applicant. IFP also plays an important role in assisting the applicant in the design of study plans for collecting data on fish, wildlife, and water resources in the project area. The department is also involved in permitting hydroelectric projects.

Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA)

The Alaska Clean Water Actions Program (ACWA) brings Alaska’s resource agencies together to characterize Alaska's waters in a holistic manner; sharing data, expertise and other information. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game collaborates with the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Conservation to maintain the ACWA's database of priority waters and identified stewardship actions. The three state resource quantity, and aquatic habitat on priority waterbodies.