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Lake Profile


General Information

Description A huge herd of over 25,000 caribou live near Lake Teshekpuk in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and calve along the southwestern lakeshore. The lake is also very important for migratory birds.

Teshekpuk Lake is part of a vast network of lagoons, deep lakes, wet meadows and river deltas that cover much of the Arctic coastal plain. Literally thousands of freshwater lakes dot the landscape.

Country United States of America
Latitude 70° 35' 0" (70.5833)
Longitude -153° 30' 0" (-153.5000)
State Alaska

Physical Characteristics

Surface Area 430.00 km2
Type Fresh


Economic Value The lake is of particular importance to the Inupiat people, who have many fishing and hunting camps along the shore.
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Description In 1977 the Interior Department identified a 1.7 million acre "Teshekpuk Lake Special Area" that required "maximum protection". However in 1998, a Bureau within the Interior Department announced it would permit oil and gas exploration and leasing in large portions of the Tehekpuk special area.
Issues Although Lake Teshekpuk has been designated a special conservation area, it does lie within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska; oil and gas drilling is a serious threat to this pristine ecosystem.

Biodiversity Conservation

Description Large concentrations of geese gather in the Teshekpuk area to molt. Up to 60,000 geese, including up to 20% of the entire Pacific black brant population are common. Teshekpuk Lake's deep and open water protect waterfowl from predators while they are molting.

The dominant mammal on the Teshekpuk coastal plain is the lemming.

Species of Concern Spectacled eider



ILEC Database
Spotlight on the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska


6/22/2004 - Bush Administration Pushes to Open Protected Alaska Land to Drilling
2/3/2004 - Interior budget restarts Arctic oil drilling debate

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.

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