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Yakataga — State Game Refuge
Fish and Wildlife


Located along the main Pacific migration route of birds flying north to breed, the high coastal mountain range funnels millions of birds along this narrow coastal corridor. A majority of waterfowl migrating north along the coast stops to rest and feed in these coastal lowlands on their way to summer nesting grounds. In the fall, the area is used heavily once again by migrating waterfowl stopping to rest and feed on their way south to wintering grounds. Trumpeter swans nest in some of the highest densities in the state and some overwinter as well. Hundreds of bald eagles winter in high densities along the lower stream reaches.


Several hundred moose live year-round in these coastal lowlands. Extreme weather conditions and heavy snowfall often drive mountain goats to lower elevations during winter. Several hundred brown bear inhabit the coastal lowlands where they feed on grass flats in spring and in strawberry patches and along fish streams in the summer. Several packs of wolves live in the area. Other furbearers include wolverine, coyote, lynx, marten, mink, land otter, and beaver.


The Tsiu/Tsivat River system supports coho, sockeye, and pink salmon and is the site of one of the richest commercial salmon fisheries for its size. Coho and sockeye are also found in the Seal and Kaliakh rivers. The Chiuki River supports coho salmon as well. Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout, and steelhead are present in all freshwater drainages in the refuge.