Dillingham Census Area

Like the Bristol Bay Borough, Dillingham Census Areaís economic base is highly seasonal and predominantly driven by the harvest and processing of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. The area has three Economic Geography of Southwest Alaska onshore processing facilities and a number of floating facilities east of Dillingham in Nushagak Bay, and several more floating processors that operate near Togiak. The City of Dillingham is the center of economic, transportation, government, and public services in the area. Commercial fishing, fish processing, cold storage, and support of the fishing industry are the primary sectors that sustain the economy of the area. Other communities in the region are heavily involved in subsistence activities.

 

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Aleknagik

Aleknagik is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area, located at the head of Wood River on the southeast end of Lake Aleknagik. (16 miles northwest of Dillingham.)

 

In 1959, the state constructed a 25-mile road connecting the south shore to Dillingham. The road was passable only during the summer months, until the late 1980s, when it was upgraded and maintained year-round.

Clark’s Point

Clark’s Point is a second Class City in the Dillingham Census Area.  Clark’s Point is located on a spit on the northeastern shore of Nushagak Bay, 15 miles from Dillingham and 337 miles southwest of Anchorage.

 

The city was incorporated in 1971. The village has been plagued by severe erosion. A housing project in 1982 was constructed on high and safe ground on the bluff.

 

Photo Credit: DCCED; Div. of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library

Dillingham

Dillingham is a 1st Class City in the Dillingham Census. Dillingham is located at the extreme northern end of Nushagak Bay in northern Bristol Bay, at the confluence of the Wood and Nushagak Rivers. It lies 327 miles southwest of Anchorage and is a 6 hour flight from Seattle.

 

The post office at Snag Point and town were named after U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham in 1904, who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee during 1903. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic struck the region, and left no more than 500 survivors. A hospital and orphanage were established in Kanakanak after the epidemic, 6 miles from the present-day city center. The Dillingham townsite was first surveyed in 1947. The city was incorporated in 1963.

Koliganek

Koliganek is an unincorporated area within the Dillingham Census Area. Koliganek is located on the left bank of the Nushagak River and lies 65 miles northeast of Dillingham. The village hopes to get its own zip code, although it currently shares one with Dillingham.

 

It is an Eskimo village first listed in the 1880 Census as “Kalignak.” The name is local, recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1930. Since that time, the village has moved four miles downstream from the original site.

 

Photo Credit: DCCED; Div. of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library

Ekwok

Ekwok is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area. Ekwok is located along the Nushagak River, 43 miles northeast of Dillingham and 285 miles southwest of Anchorage. The city was incorporated in 1974.

New Stuyahok

New Stuyahok is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area.  New Stuyahok is located on the Nushagak River, about 12 miles upriver from Ekwok and 52 miles northeast of Dillingham. The village has been constructed at two elevations – one 25 feet above river level and one about 40 feet above river level. An airstrip was built in 1961, and the 1960s saw a 40% increase in the village population. The city was incorporated in 1972.

 

Photo Credit: DCCED; Div. of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library

Manokotak

Manokotak is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area. Manokotak is located 25 miles southwest of Dillingham on the Igushik River. It lies 347 miles southwest of Anchorage.

 

The city was incorporated in 1970. Manokotak is the fourth most populated village in the Dillingham census area.

Twin Hills

Twin Hills is an unincorporated area in the Dillingham Census Area. Twin Hills is located near the mouth of the Twin Hills River, a tributary of the Togiak River, 386 miles southwest of Anchorage. The village was established in 1965 by families who moved from Togiak to avoid the recurrent flooding there.

 

Photo Credit: DCCED; Div. of Community and Regional Affairs’ Community Photo Library

Portage Creek

Portage Creek is an unincorporated area within the Dillingham Census Area.   Portage Creek is located at the mouth of Portage Creek, a tributary of the Nushagak River, 29 miles southeast of Dillingham.

Togiak

Togiak is a second class city in the Dillingham Census Area. Togiak is located at the head of Togiak Bay, 67 miles west of Dillingham. It lies in Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and is the gateway to Walrus Island Game Sanctuary.

 

Three or four households left Togiak after the 1964 flood and developed the village of Twin Hills upriver. The city government was incorporated in 1969.