Chandalar River

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Chandalar River
East Fork of the Chandalar River, at Arctic Village
Chandalar River is located in Alaska
Chandalar River
Location of the mouth of the Chandalar River in Alaska
CountryUnited States
Census AreaYukon–Koyukuk
Physical characteristics
Sourceconfluence of the river's north and middle forks
 - locationsoutheastern Brooks Range, 23 miles (37 km) south-southeast of Chandalar
 - coordinates67°10′13″N 148°17′50″W / 67.17028°N 148.29722°W / 67.17028; -148.29722[1]
 - elevation1,203 ft (367 m)[2]
MouthYukon River
 - location
20 miles (32 km) northwest of Fort Yukon, Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge
 - coordinates
66°36′33″N 146°00′09″W / 66.60917°N 146.00250°W / 66.60917; -146.00250Coordinates: 66°36′33″N 146°00′09″W / 66.60917°N 146.00250°W / 66.60917; -146.00250[1]
 - elevation
387 ft (118 m)[1]
Length100 mi (160 km)[1]
Basin size9,330 sq mi (24,200 km2)[3][5]
 - locationnear Venetie[3][4]
 - average5,007 cu ft/s (141.8 m3/s)[3][4]
 - maximum62,800 cu ft/s (1,780 m3/s)

The Chandalar River[pronunciation?] (T'eedriinjik[pronunciation?][6] in Gwich'in) is a 100-mile (160 km) tributary of the Yukon River in the U.S. state of Alaska.[1] Its peak flow, recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) between 1964 and 1974 at a stream gauge at Venetie, was 62,800 cubic feet per second (1,780 m3/s) on June 9, 1968.[3]

The Chandalar River main stem begins at the confluence of the North Fork Chandalar River and the Middle Fork Chandalar River and flows generally southeast through the state's northern interior southeast of the Philip Smith Mountains of the Brooks Range.[7] The Chandalar enters the Yukon River 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Fort Yukon.[1]

Major tributaries[edit]

North Fork Chandalar River, 104 miles (167 km) long,[8] begins near Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range and flows generally southeast through Chandalar Lake to meet the Middle Fork and form the main stem.[7] At the North Fork headwaters is a flat valley known as Chandalar shelf just east of the Dalton Highway, where caribou are known to winter.

The 102-mile (164 km) Middle Fork Chandalar River[9] heads up in the Philip Smith Mountains east of Atigun Pass.[7] It flows generally south from the mountains to join the North Fork.[7]

East Fork Chandalar River, 175 miles (282 km) long,[10] starts near the Romanzof Mountains in the eastern Brooks Range.[7] From there, it flows generally southwest past Arctic Village to enter the main stem upstream of Venetie.[7]

West Fork Chandalar River, a 24-mile (39 km) tributary of the North Fork Chandalar River, flows east from mountainous terrain east of Coldfoot. It joins the North Fork 5 miles (8 km) upstream of that stream's confluence with the Middle Fork.[11]


Although the lower river can be fished for northern pike, sheefish and salmon, the upper river, its tributaries, headwaters, and nearby lakes offer "the most exciting fishing possibilities".[12] The main sportfishing species in the basin are northern pike, Arctic grayling, charr, and lake trout.[12]

Anglers and hunters typically enter the region by airplane or, in winter, by snowmobile. It is possible for experienced boaters to float and fish the river system in rafts or kayaks. Hazards include shallows and rapids. There are no public campgrounds or other facilities; however, there is a fishing lodge at Chandalar Lake.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Chandalar River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. January 1, 2000. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  2. ^ Derived by entering source coordinates in Google Earth.
  3. ^ a b c d "Peak Streamflow for Alaska: USGS 15389500 Chandalar River near Venetie". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "USGS Surface-Water Annual Statistics for Alaska: USGS 15389500 Chandalar River near Venetie". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 1, 2013. For water years 1964–73.
  5. ^ Upstream of Venetie
  6. ^ Holton, Gary (July 16, 2013). "Alaska Native Language Archive: Alaska Place Names". University of Alaska Fairbanks. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Alaska Atlas & Gazetteer (7th ed.). Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2010. pp. 136–37. ISBN 978-0-89933-289-5.
  8. ^ Alaska Place Names, p. 698
  9. ^ Alaska Place Names, p. 638
  10. ^ Alaska Place Names, p. 296
  11. ^ Alaska Place Names, p. 1036
  12. ^ a b c Limeres, Rene; Pedersen, Gunnar; et al. (2005). Alaska Fishing: The Ultimate Angler's Guide (3rd ed.). Roseville, California: Publishers Design Group. pp. 286–87. ISBN 1-929170-11-4.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]