Float Guide Delta Clearwater River


The Delta Clearwater River is the largest spring-fed tributary of the Tanana. This crystal clear river is 20 miles long and flows into the Tanana River 20 miles upstream of the Richardson Highway Bridge. Access to Delta Clearwater River is via Clearwater State Recreation Site, a state campground and boat launch located on Remington Road.

Float Guide

Travel times are approximate and may vary with the type of craft, wind direction, and water conditions. These travel times were approximated using a canoe.

kids in boat at shore From:Clearwater State Recreation Site
To: Richardson Highway Bridge    28 miles, 6-12 hours
To: Clearwater Lake       12 miles, 4-8 hours

To get to the Richardson Highway Bridge, follow the Clearwater River to the Tanana River, and then travel downstream until the bridge crossing.

To get to Clearwater Lake, follow the Clearwater River to the Tanana River. After entering the Tanana, stay to the western, or left-hand, side for 1.5 miles, where the Clearwater Lake outlet enters the Tanana. Paddle up the lake's outlet stream to the lake, 1.5 miles. The outlet stream is a clear, slow-moving stream that is usually not difficult to paddle upstream. There is a boat ramp on the Southwestern shore where you may pull out your vessel.

Delta Clearwater float map

River Hazards

Boaters should exercise caution when traveling on the Tanana River, which is a large, silty, glacial river. Avoid sweepers (trees in the river, especially those still attached to riverbanks and islands), try to stay on the main channel, and always wear life vests. Only experienced canoeists should travel the Tanana River below the Clearwater Lake outlet.


The clear waters of the Delta Clearwater River provide high quality rearing habitat for Arctic grayling from April through October. However, grayling do not spawn in the river. Various spinner lures are effective only early in the year. Various dry and wet fly patterns (Mosquitoes, Blue Dunn, Adams, Salcha Pink, Ants) are the best gear for catching grayling in the river and lake outlet.

Coho salmon enter the Delta Clearwater River from mid-September through early November with peak entry taking place during mid-October. The Delta Clearwater supports the largest documented spawning population of Coho salmon in the whole Yukon drainage. The largest count occurred in 1991 when 24,000 Coho's entered the Clearwater. In 1987, biologists counted 4,225 Coho salmon in the Clearwater Lake outlet. Aggressive behavior causes spawning Coho salmon to strike at large colored lures.

Fishing Regulations for Delta Clearwater River and Clearwater Lake Drainage

Arctic Grayling:

June 1 to
December 31

Daily bag and possession limit is 1 fish
which must be less than 12 inches long.

Arctic Grayling:

January 1 to
May 31

Catch and release only. All grayling
must be released immediately.

Salmon other than King:

Season open
all year

Three per day, three in possession.


Season open
all year

Fifteen per day, fifteen in possession.


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