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 area around Dillingham was inhabited by both Eskimos and Athabascans and became a trade center when Russians erected the Alexandrovski Redoubt Post in 1818. Local Native groups and Natives from the Kuskokwim Region, the Alaska Peninsula, and Cook Inlet mixed together as they came to visit or live at the post. The community was known as Nushagak by 1837, when a Russian Orthodox mission was established. In 1881 the U.S. Signal Corps established a meteorological station at Nushagak. In 1884 the first salmon cannery in the Bristol Bay region was constructed by Arctic Packing Co., east of the site of modern-day Dillingham. Ten more were established within the next seventeen years. 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.

Traditionally a Yup'ik Eskimo area with Russian influences, Dillingham is now a highly mixed population of non-Natives and Natives. The outstanding commercial fishing opportunities in the Bristol Bay area are the focus of the local culture.

Governance: Dillingham was incorporated in 1963 and maintains a managerial form of government.  Regular elections are held the first Tuesday in October.  Manager: Rose Loera, Mayor: Alice Ruby


  • Dillingham can be reached by air and sea.
  • The state-owned airport provides a 6,400' long by 150' wide paved runway and regular jet flights are available from Anchorage. A seaplane base is available 3 miles west at Shannon's Pond; it is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Division of Lands. A heliport is available at Kanakanak Hospital.
  • There is a city-operated small boat harbor with 320 slips, a dock, barge landing, boat launch, and boat haul-out facilities. It is a tidal harbor and only for seasonal use.
  • Two barge lines make scheduled trips from Seattle.
  • There is a 23-mile DOT-maintained gravel road to Aleknagik; it was first constructed in 1960.


Education: Dillingham’s schools are members of the Dillingham City School District. Supierintendant - Danny Frazier

Dillingham Correspondence School: K thru 12

Students: 8 Teachers: 1

Dillingham Elementary School: P thru 5

Students: 258 Teachers: 23

Dillingham Middle/High School: 6 thru 12

Students: 268 Teachers: 23



City of Dillingham

P.O. Box 889

Dillingham, AK 99576

Mayor - Alice Ruby

(907) 842-5211

City Manager - Rose Loera

(907) 842-5211


Bristol Bay Native Corporation

111 West 16th Ave, Suite 400

Anchorage, AK 99501

President/CEO - Jason Metrokin

(907) 278-3602


Bristol Bay Native Association

1500 Kanakanak Road

Dillingham, AK 99576

CEO - Ralph Anderson

(907) 842-5257


Curyung Tribal Council

P.O. Box 216

Dillingham, AK 99576

First Chief - Thomas Tilden

Tribal Administrator: Dorothy B. Larson

(907) 842-2384


Choggiung, Limited

P.O. Box 330

Dillingham, AK 99576

President - Bryce Edgmon

(907) 842-5218


Olsonville, Incorporated

P.O. Box 571

Dillingham, AK 99576

President/CEO - Dennis Olson

(907) 842-3511


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

PO Box 350

Dillingham, AK 99576

CEO - Mike Megli

(907) 842-5251



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

Download Dillingham Projects List