Exploring the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River
The Gulkana is one of the most popular sportfishing rivers in Alaska, providing rich habitat for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, king salmon, red salmon, whitefish, longnose suckers, and lamprey. A poplular river for fisherman and boaters in the summer, this river has also played an important role in the lives of the Ahtna, providing access to subsistence resoucres throughout history and pre-history. During winter months the frozen Gulkana River was historically used as an important travel route from the Copper River to the Tangle Lakes and what is now known as the Denali Highway area.
The Gulkana River Watershed drains approximately 2,140 square miles of Southcentral Alaska. The river begins in the Alaska Range near Summit Lake and flows south into the Copper River, eventually draining into Prince William Sound. Several hundred lakes and ponds are scattered throughout the spruce-dominated forest of the Gulkana River Watershed, providing abundant nesting areas for trumpeter swans and waterfowl.
Photos by Jeremy Matlock, BLM