Back from the coast are brushy thickets where moose calve each spring. In the winter, moose from surrounding uplands return to the refuge to find food and relief from deep snow. Both brown and black bears use the refuge, feeding particularly on early spring vegetation near salt marshes and sedge meadows. Beaver, mink, otter, muskrat, coyote, and wolf can also be found. Trapping is a regular winter activity on the refuge.
Several hundred white beluga whales concentrate in an area extending from the Little Susitna River to the Beluga River, between late May and June. The beluga gather in these nearshore waters to calve, breed, and feed on the large runs of eulachon (“hooligan”) fish that return to spawn in the Susitna River.
The Susitna River and its tributaries support the second largest salmon-producing system within Cook Inlet. In the summer, set net fishing sites dot the shoreline of the refuge.
An impressive 40,000 user-days of sport fishing effort are expended on the Little Susitna River each year, reached over land on a rough 4-wheel drive trail. Some hardy fishermen head for the Little Susitna by boat from the mouth of Ship Creek.
The Theodore and Lewis rivers are popular fly-in fishing streams for king salmon from late May through June. Combined, these rivers annually provide approximately 7,000 user-days fishing effort and a harvest of 1,000 king salmon.
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT FOR REVISING POLICIES OF MCNEIL RIVER STATE GAME REFUGE, STATE SANCTUARY MANAGEMENT PLAN
Apr 07, 2006; The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued the following press release: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is...