Region

Region 4 (west)

Whitewater Classification

Class I-II+

Known Hazards

Rapids at midpoint below Kukaklek Lake are usually Class II+ but can run up to Class III. Steep terrain offers limited scouting in this area, but choosing a line through the rapids is not difficult for experienced boaters. Lining is not possible here. Brown bears may be found anywhere along the river, particularly after the summer salmon runs begin in June. Some boaters use electric fences to keep bears away from boats, sleeping areas, and food.

Access

Fly-in from King Salmon, however charters out of Iliamna, Kodiak, Soldotna or Homer are also possible.

Land Managers

National Park Service, private

Additional Resources

Alaska Fishing, by Gunnar Pedersen and Rene Limeres
Alaska Pocket Fishing Guide, by Rene Limeres
Alaska River Guide, by Karen Jettmar

Description

The Alagnak River meanders 67 miles from one of two lakes on the northern end of Katmai National Preserve; Nonvianuk Lake and Kukaklek Lake. The outflow of these lakes converge at "the forks" and the river meanders west to its eventual confluence with the waters of Bristol Bay. "The Braids", a long braided section below the forks, is a popular area to fish for rainbow trout.
 
The Alagnak is designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, and is administered by the National Park Service out of the town of King Salmon, where most Alagnak River adventures originate. King Salmon (AKN) is accessed via scheduled commercial flights from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).
 
There are no public facilities on the Alagnak, however there are several lodge operations in the area. Campsite selection is fair, with better options located below the forks area. Above the forks there are few gravel bars and the water can be deep right up against overhanging grassy banks.
 
The river contains excellent fishing opportunities for rainbow trout, grayling, char, and all five species of Pacific salmon, giving the Alagnak a world-reknowned reputation as a major fly-in fishing location in all of southwest Alaska. It is also home to brown bear, moose, beaver, bald eagles and other indigeneous wildlife species. 
 
Firearms are permitted on the Alagnak, and many floaters bring a shotgun, rifle or handgun along for bear protection. 
 
It is recommended that floaters take precautions concerning food storage. Coolers will attract bears, so many floaters opt for Bear Resistant Food Containers (BRFCs). These are available for rent from some gear rental outfits, or they may be purchased.