Fish and Game Home

Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Norton Sound - Port Clarence Management Area
Access — Subsistence Fishing

The Norton Sound – Port Clarence area is not connected by road to the reminder of Alaska. Nome and Unalakleet are served by major airlines with daily flights to and from Anchorage. Other communities in the area have commuter air service from the regional hubs of Nome and Unalakleet. During open water season (June to September), coastal communities also are receive fuel and other supplies from ocean-going barges out of Anchorage and Seattle.

From Nome, 3 state-maintained, gravel roads lead into the country: 75 miles to Teller, 82 miles to Taylor in the Kougarok mining district, and 70 miles to Council. The roads connect with no others and terminate within the region, but have a considerable impact on fish and wildlife harvesting patterns. Rod and reel fishing areas on four Nome-area rivers - the Sinuk, Snake, Nome, and Solomon - can be reached by road. Five more Nome area rivers - the Cripple, Penny, Eldorado, Flambeau, and Bonanza - are accessible by boat from Nome. The Kougarok road parallels the Nome River almost its entire 41-mile length, one bridge crosses less than a mile above its mouth, and another crosses about 13 miles inland. A 1986 Division of Subsistence study found that Nome’s harvest areas were two to three times as large as harvest areas for other smaller communities in the region (Magdanz and Olanna 1986). The study indicated that roads facilitated harvesting, especially of moose and plants.

Residents of region travel through the region by skiff during open water season, both along the coast and up major rivers. In winter, travel is by snowmobile along marked trails connecting all the mainland communities. Winter travel by snowmachine is not advised for those inexperienced in Arctic Alaska conditions.