Heads in Ustay Lake at the foot of Rodman Glacier, flowing S, then dividing into several channels, the largest of which flows NW to the Akwe River, 38 mi SE of Yakutat; the lesser flow is SE through Muddy Creek and Cannery Creek to the Alsek River, Mapaspina Coastal Plain.
Tlingit Indian name reported as "Us-tay" by Lieutenant Commander Moser (1901, p. 387 and pl. 43), U.S. Navy (USN). The name seems to have been applied to both the Akwe and Tanis Rivers of Captain Tebenkov (1852, map 7), Imperial Russian Navy (IRN). The name has been restricted to its present application since 1926.