Ketchikan Management Area

The Ketchikan management area includes the islands of Revillagigedo, Gravina, Annette, and Duke - as well as the U.S. mainland to the east, from the middle of Cleveland Peninsula south to Portland Canal. Prince of Wales Island lies to the west, separated from the Ketchikan area by lower Clarence Strait.

Forested mountains as high as 4,000 feet and vast areas of open muskeg are the prevailing landscape. Evergreens dominate the forest-Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western red cedar and Alaska-cedar. Coastal areas are rocky and rugged, and small islands dot the waterways. The outer islands form a protective barrier for inside waters against the open ocean.

Scattered throughout the area are dozens of small streams and lakes. Larger river systems, from 30 to 50 miles long, extend from British Columbia into Alaska: the Unuk and Chickamin rivers flow into East Behm Canal, and the Salmon River empties into Portand Canal near Hyder, Alaska.

Most of Ketchikan lies within the Tongass National Forest boundary and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service-Ketchikan and Misty Fiords ranger districts. Remaining lands are owned by state and local governments and the private sector. Public access along some waterways is limited because of privately owned lands. Be sure to get permission from landowners before crossing private property. The public road system around Ketchikan offers fairly good access to roadside sport fishing for salmon, trout, and char. Small to medium streams and lakes lie within 5 minutes’ walk from a local road, and other streams and lake systems are within a 1-3 hour walk.