Salcha River

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Salcha River
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Fairbanks North Star
Source Tanana Hills
 - location slightly south of Steese National Conservation Area, northeastern Fairbanks North Star Borough
 - elevation 4,054 ft (1,236 m) [1]
 - coordinates 65°04′23″N 143°54′58″W / 65.07306°N 143.91611°W / 65.07306; -143.91611 [2]
Mouth Tanana River [2]
 - location 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Fairbanks
 - elevation 640 ft (195 m) [2]
 - coordinates 64°28′00″N 146°58′44″W / 64.46667°N 146.97889°W / 64.46667; -146.97889Coordinates: 64°28′00″N 146°58′44″W / 64.46667°N 146.97889°W / 64.46667; -146.97889 [2]
Length 125 mi (201 km) [2]
Basin 2,170 sq mi (5,620 km2) [3]
Discharge for 2 miles (3.2 km) from the mouth
 - average 1,601 cu ft/s (45.3 m3/s) [3]
 - max 97,000 cu ft/s (2,746.7 m3/s)
 - min 60 cu ft/s (1.7 m3/s)
Salcha River is located in Alaska
Salcha River
Location of the mouth of the Salcha River in Alaska

The Salcha River is a 125-mile (201 km) tributary of the Tanana River in the U.S. state of Alaska.[2] Rising in the eastern part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough east of Fort Wainwright, it flows generally west-southwest to meet the larger river at Aurora Lodge,[4] 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Fairbanks.[2]

The Salcha drains an area of 2,170 square miles (5,620 km2), making it the second-largest tributary of the Tanana.[5] The Trans-Alaska Pipeline crosses under the Salcha approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of the mouth of the river.[4]


Accessible by boat or on foot from the Richardson Highway, which crosses the lower river near the mouth, the Salcha River is a popular sports-fishing stream. The main species are king salmon, caught mostly near the mouth, and Arctic grayling, caught mostly further upstream.[6]

Catch and release fishing for Chinook salmon averaging 20 to 25 pounds (9 to 11 kg) can be good on this river. Summer-run chum salmon and fall-run coho salmon also frequent the Salcha, as do smaller numbers of northern pike.[6]

The Salcha State Recreation Site is next to the Salcha River at milepost 323.3 of the Richardson Highway. The Alaska Division of Outdoor Parks and Recreation manages the 61-acre (25 ha) site, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Fairbanks. Amenities include six campsites, water, toilets, picnic sites, a boat launch, and a public-use cabin. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are among the possible winter activities near the site.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Derived by entering source coordinates in Google Earth.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Salcha River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. January 1, 2000. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Water-Data Report 2012: USGS 15484000: Salcha River near Salchaket, AK" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Alaska Atlas & Gazetteer (7th ed.). Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2010. pp. 116, 127–28. ISBN 978-0-89933-289-5. 
  5. ^ "Navigability of Salcha River in the Tanana River Region" (PDF). U.S. Bureau of Land Management. September 29, 2005. pp. 6–10. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Limeres, Rene; Pedersen, Gunnar; et al. (2005). Alaska Fishing: The Ultimate Angler's Guide (3rd ed.). Roseville, California: Publishers Design Group. pp. 277–78. ISBN 1-929170-11-4. 
  7. ^ "Salcha River State Recreation Site". Alaska Department of Natural Resources. 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]