The Bristol Bay Borough economy is characterized as highly seasonal because it is based almost entirely upon harvesting and processing wild sockeye salmon runs of Bristol Bay. Herring and halibut are secondary commercial fish species harvested in the area. The Borough has three major commercial fishing communities: Naknek, King Salmon, and South Naknek. King Salmon is the transportation hub in the borough, and Naknek is the seat of the Borough government.
The Borough serves as the chief governing body for the communities of Naknek, South Naknek, and King Salmon, and was incorporated as the state’s first borough in 1962. The Borough economy is reliant upon commercial fishing, processing, transportation services, and the government sector. There are three schools in the area.
King Salmon is an unincorporated area in the Bristol Bay Borough. King Salmon is located on the north bank of the Naknek River on the Alaska Peninsula, about 15 miles upriver from Naknek. It is 284 miles southwest of Anchorage.
In 1993, the Air Force station went into a caretaker status. It is being maintained and operated under contract for the Air Force by the Chugach Development Corporation and supports daily military activities, including Air Force, Army, Marine, and North American Air Defense (NORAD) missions and US Coast Guard law enforcement and search and rescue missions. As well, the Bristol Bay Borough and the State of Alaska are using several buildings on the base.
Naknek is an unincorporated area in the Bristol Bay Borough. Naknek is located on the north bank of the Naknek River, at the northeastern end of Bristol Bay. It is 297 miles southwest of Anchorage.
This region was first settled over 6,000 years ago by Yup’ik Eskimos, the Aleut and Athabascan Indians.
Naknek has developed over the years as a major fishery center.
South Naknek is located on the south bank of the Naknek River on the Alaska Peninsula, 297 miles southwest of Anchorage. This area was first settled over 6,000 years ago, and was historically Sugpiaq Aleut territory. The South Naknek Village Council (Quinyang) is located in the community. Commercial fishing and salmon processing are the mainstays of South Naknek’s economy. Trident Seafoods owns two processing plants, neither are currently operational. Most other employment is in public services. A few people trap, and most residents depend on subsistence hunting and fishing. There is one lighted gravel runway with a cross strip.
Photo Credit: DCCED; Div. of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library