Togiak Lake and River

(Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.)

Fireweed On Our Way Cathedral Mountain Midway Down The Togiak River Togiak Lake

Togiak Lake is a 30 minute flight to the west of Dillingham, and is the headwaters of the Togiak River. The Lake is about 15 miles long and receives drainage water from a large area north of the lake. One of the two main lakes that drain into the Togiak Lake through a series of creeks and rivers has been appropriately named High Lake.

High Lake drains into Trail Creek, by means of a non-floatable drainage creek. Trail Creek is floatable from a location about half a mile from a small lake that is accessible by plane. The portage to Trail Creek is over lumpy tundra with fair walking and no trees.

The name of the other lake that drains into Togiak Lake is Upper Togiak Lake. Trail Creek flows into the river connecting Togiak and Upper Togiak lakes. The name of the river is Izanieknik, and it is floatable by raft or kayak.

The Togiak River is a large river compared to other rivers in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. During a rainstorm the river can rise and become cloudy in just a few days, depending on the intensity of the rainstorm. The scenery is incredible throughout the entire float, and so is the camping. Many scavenger animals are present, including brown bear. Birds are also in abundance in the refuge.

However, because of the motor boat traffic traveling between the lake and the native village of Togiak, wildlife sightings are rare, especially during the berry picking and salmon drying season.

Lake trout, rainbow, arctic char, dolly varden, arctic grayling, northern pike and salmon are all available in the Togiak River. Rainbow, although available, are not in abundance in the Tokiak River.

The king salmon season is from the fifteenth of June through the last week of July. The reds and chum salmon start coming into the river about the last week of June, and are available until about the first week in August. The silver salmon start showing up about the last week in July, and keep coming into the river until early September. The humpys run the first week in July, through the first week in August on even years. t5

There are four designated pickup points for floaters floating the Togiak or Ongivinuk Rivers. The first choice is a long, deep, straight stretch 5 miles below the point where the Ongivinuk dumps into the Togiak (N5922.947' W15957.184'). The second is the gravel bar just upriver from the Fish & Wildlife Camp on river left (N5916.138' W16012.863'). The third is river left for the Pungokepuk River immediately at the bottom where it dumps into the Togiak River (N5915.585' W16012.470'). The fourth is just downriver from where the Geshik River flows into the Togiak River on river left. (N5912.067' W16015.345').

Please note:

Campers must stay well clear of beaching area while setting up equipment or camping. Please stay clear of aircraft taxiing up onto and departing from the beach.

We recommend a 6 to 7 day float from the lake to the edge of the wilderness area, to assure a fabulous fishing experience. Due to the swift current, it is possible to float this river in as little as 16 floating hours if you were to just cut loose and float.

For more information on floating and fishing the Togiak River, contact the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge Manager. Press here for estimated costs.

For topographic maps covering the Togiak and Ongivinuk rivers, order Goodnews Quadrangle D-2, C-3, C-2, B-4, B-3, B-2, A-4.