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Alaska waterways

Unalakleet River


NOTE: These reports may not contain important information about: 1) safety, 2) land management and ownership, 3) fishing and other regulations and 4) possible errors > READ MORE

Complete river log

From: David Dapkus
Subject: Unalakleet River float trip, June 1973.

We floated the Unalakleet River in Western Alaska during the week of June 4-8, 1973. River trip participants were:

David Dapkus - BOR, Team Leader
John Nye - BLM, Anchorage State Office
Dave Scot -t BLM, Nome
Tom Young - Alaska State Highway Dept., Nome
Vernon Kutzeg - Bering Straits Reg. Corp., Nome

John Nye and I left Merrill Field, June 4, via BLM Aero Commander for the village of Unalakleet, which lies at the mouth of the Unalakleet at Norton Sound. We over flew the river extensively on our way into the village. Upon arrival we contacted the native (Eskimo) guide John Ivanoff who was to take us up the river and made final arrangements. Later that afternoon we met with the remainder of our team who had chartered a plane from Nome.

On the morning of June 5, our team started up river via two 18-foot riverboats. The first 10 river miles were tundra lined but quickly gave way to a mixture of willows and spruce. The river was high, tea colored, and fast due to the last bit of winter snow melt. Great amounts and varieties of waterfowl were encountered. We camped on a small gravel bar about 5 miles below the confluence of Old Woman River the first night.

The second day was a repeat of the first. Jet units were attached to the motors in place of props because of the shallow water. Evidence of large numbers of moose in the area was noted by the over browsing of riverbank willows. We went upstream to near Tenmile River before turning back to camp near Old Woman Mountain that night; we had gone approximately 75 of the total 90 miles of the Unalakleet River. We went about 3 miles up Old Woman River that afternoon to camp and climb the mountain. The Kaltag trail was found.

Weather had been nice until the morning of June 7 found two inches of fresh snow on our tents and still falling. The snow quit about 10 a.m. and the day stayed cloudy and cool. Much more waterfowl was observed on the return to the village that day. We arrived at the village about 10 p.m.

Vernon Kutzeg arranged for me and John Nye to meet the villagers at the school at 11 a.m. June 8. The meeting was informal and friendly. I explained our study and asked their feelings about it and their desires for the river. The villagers were of one firm voice, against the Wild River.

Complete River Log


PDF icon Unalakleet River [246 kb]


Other information resources

List of rivers for which information is available on this website

Alagnak River | Alatna River |  American Creek | Andreafsky River | Aniakchak River | Awuna River | Beaver Creek | Black River | Bremner River | Canning River | Charley River | Chilikadrotna River | Chitina River | Colville River | Copper River | Delta River | Fortymile River | Gulkana River | Huslia River | Ivishak River | John River | Kakhonak River | Kanektok River | Karluk River | Kasegaluk Lagoon | King Salmon River | Kobuk River | Koyukuk River North Fork | Little Susitna River | Mulchatna River | Nigu Etivluk rivers | Noatak River | Nowitna River | Nuyakuk River | Porcupine River | Saganirktok River | Salmon River (Kobuk) | Selawik River | Sheenjek River | Squirrel River | Talachulitna River | Tlikakila River | Togiak River | Unalakleet River | Utukok River

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