Alaska Fisheries Sonar

Chilkat River
Site and River

Site & River


The Chilkat sonar site is located a half mile downstream of Chilkat Lake on a 100-foot wide slough and about 20 miles northwest of the city of Haines. The slough connects the lake to Tsirku River and consists of a single counting station on one side. Chilkat Lake and Tsirku River are part of the Chilkat River drainage. Tsirku River is Chilkat River’s second biggest tributary and Chilkat Lake is the primary spawning destination for Chilkat River sockeye salmon.


At it’s estuary, the Chilkat River empties into Chilkat Inlet, which lies at the upper end of Lynn Canal, near the town of Haines. The Chilkat River drainage encompasses about 620 square miles and receives meltwater from several glaciers. When water levels are high, water in the Tsirku River and slough at the mouth of Chilkat Lake can become very turbid.