Whitefish Campground — Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area
Coordinates: 65.08488, -147.72765
Game Management Unit: 20B
Land Manager: Department of Natural Resources (DNR); Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Located just north of Fairbanks, the Lower Chatanika River SRA is a popular staging facility and access point for hunters harvesting moose, bears, and waterfowl. Berry patches in the nearby boreal forest also provide excellent grouse-hunting opportunities, while the Chatanika River is home to a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, and northern pike.
Within the Lower Chatanika River SRA, the Whitefish Campground & Boat Launch facility provides campsites and boating access to the Minto Flats, a popular moose and waterfowl destination.
Due to year-round use and poor drainage, the road and parking area had become washed out and potholed while the campground struggled to meet sanitary standards. Campsites also lacked picnic tables and firepits expected by hunters staging out of the area.
The project objective was to improve the Whitefish Campground & Boat Launch facility to better accommodate hunters and trappers using this site. These improvements would address issues with the road surface, runoff management, sanitary conditions, and campsite amenities used by hunters.
The road surface and parking area were regraded and resurfaced while culverts were improved to resolve drainage issues. New vaulted toilets were installed to help maintain sanitary standards, and a pavilion was built near the parking area. The project resulted in improved road conditions, adequately furnished campsites, and sanitary facilities to satisfy the needs of hunters and enhance the overall hunting experience.