Goodnews River

Goodnews River Fishing!

The Goodnews River flows southwest from Goodnews Lake down the Goodnews Valley. The upper portion of the river has a slow current, increasing in the middle section with no real obstructions along the route. The scenery, fishing, hiking and camping opportunities throughout the float are fantastic. Most of the shoreline is open tundra with some stands of willows and cottonwoods along the route. The lower 5 to 10 miles has a strong tidal influence which is why a boat pickup is recommended to get through this section back to the Village of Goodnews.

The Goodnews River offers excellent seasonal opportunities for Salmon, Dolly Varden, Grayling and Rainbow fishing. The fishing begins each year in mid June with the King Salmon run and culminates each year in mid September with the Rainbow fishing reaching its peak and the end of the Silver Salmon run.

Drop Off:Float Plane from Bethel to Goodnews Lake.
Length:Approximately 60 river miles.
Float Duration:Minimum 6 days. Most go for 7-10 days.
Topo Maps:We do not provide maps. Maps can be purchased through the U.S. Geological Survey office nearest you or in Anchorage by calling, 1-888-275-8747 (in Alaska) or 1-907-786-7011 (outside of Alaska). The following are the map sheets required for the Goodnews River float: Goodnews Bay A-6, A-7, A-8, B-5, B-6, B-7 and C-5.
Pickup:Due to the strong tidal influence the last 5 miles of the river, floaters are picked up by boat and towed to the airstrip in the village of Goodnews. The floaters are then picked up by wheeled aircraft and flown back to Bethel.
Cost:Round trip Air charter $1575 per person + $75 fuel surcharge per flight
This price includes drop-off flight from Bethel to Goodnews Lake and pick-up flight from village of Goodnews back to Bethel
Boat Pickup from mouth of Goodnews River to Goodnews Bay Village - $95 per person (paid directly to the boat driver at pick up)
Notes:1. Rates are based on 2 Person Minimum.
2. Maximum allowable weight:

2-3 People = 1200lbs
4-6 People = 2400lbs
7-9 People = 3600lbs

(Group weight= Weight of all people, gear, supplies and food)

3. Special Rates Available for Children under 16 depending on Group Size
4. Lodging in Bethel Available.
5. Boat Fee paid directly to Boat Driver.
**Please Note**Due to the commitment to the safety of our clients, starting in the 2019 season, each group will be required to carry some form of satellite communication device. (ie. Sat Phone, delorme, inReach, etc) If you are unable to bring your own, Papa Bear will provide you with one for a fee.

Goodnews River Salmon Timing
Salmon SpeciesLower RiverMid-Upper RiverComments
King (Chinook)Mid JuneJuly
Dog (Chum)JulyMid to Late July
Red (Sockeye)Late JuneMid to Late July
Pink (Humpy)Late JulyAugustEven Year Return
Coho (Silver)AugustMid August- September


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