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.)

Wood River and Aleknagik Lake have been used historically as summer fish camps. Aleknagik means "Wrong Way Home," because Natives returning to their homes along the Nushagak River would sometimes become lost in the fog and find themselves swept up the Wood River with the tide, inadvertently arriving at Aleknagik Lake. The 1929 U.S. Census found 55 people living in the "Wood River Village" area to the south. In 1930, there were five families living on the shores of the lake year-round: the Waskeys, Polleys, Hansons, Yakos, and Smiths. A log cabin territorial school was built on the south shore of the lake in 1933, and Josie Waskey was the first teacher. Attracted by the school, other facilities, and plentiful fish, game, and timber, a number of families from Goodnews, Togiak, and Kulukak relocated to Aleknagik. A post office was established in 1937. A two-story framed school with a teacher apartment was constructed in 1938. By 1939, Aleknagik had 78 residents, over 30 buildings, and a small sawmill. In the late 1940s, a Seventh-Day Adventist mission and school was established on the north shore. During the 1950s, a Moravian church and a Russian Orthodox church were built in Aleknagik and over 35 families lived along the lake. 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.

Today Aleknagik is a traditional Yup'ik Eskimo area, with historical influences from the Seventh-Day Adventists, Russian Orthodox, and Moravians. Fishing and subsistence activities are practiced. The sale of alcohol is restricted to fishing lodges.

Governance: Aleknagik was incorporated in 1973 and maintains a mayoral form of government. Mayor: Carolyn Smith


Aleknagik is the only regional village with a road link to Dillingham, a 25-mile road that connects the south shore.

There are 4 runways in Aleknagik. One airport is a state-owned 2,040' long by 80' wide gravel airstrip located on the north shore, and regular flights are scheduled through Dillingham. The north shore of the lake is not road accessible; residents use skiffs to travel to town on the south shore. Moody's Aleknagik Seaplane Base, also on the north shore, accommodates float planes. The two additional airstrips are private runways; one is a 1,200' by 25' gravel dirt runway, located 2 miles southeast of Aleknagik, and the other is a 1,150' by 35' gravel runway.

A breakwater, barge landing, boat launch ramp, and boat lift are available on the north shore. Cnstruction is beginning to connect the south and north shore with a bridge. Vehicles, skiffs, ATVs, and snowmachines are the most frequent means of local transportation.

Education: The Aleknagik School is a member of the Southwest Region School district.  It currently enrolls 27 students in kindergarten through twelfth grades, guided by three teachers.  Superintendent: David Piazza



City of Aleknagik

P.O. Box 33

Aleknagik, AK 99555-0033

Mayor - Carolyn Smith

(907) 842-5953


Aleknagik Natives Limited

P.O. Box 1630

Dillingham, AK 99576-1630

President - Bobby Andrew

(907) 842-2385


Native Village of Aleknagik

P.O. Box 115

Aleknagik, AK 99555

President - Margie Aloysius

ph: (907) 842-2080


CDQ Group:

Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation

PO Box 1464

Dillingham, AK 99576-1464

President/CEO - Norman Van Vactor

(907) 842-4370



Nushagak Electric Cooperative

P.O. Box 350

Dillingham, AK 99576-0350

CEO - Mike Megli

(907) 842-5251



Download a listing of projects submitted by the City of Aleknagik for inclusion in the Southwest Alaska Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Download Aleknagik Projects List