St. John's Russian Orthodox Church - Naknek(Population 601) Located on the north shore near the mouth of the Naknek River, the village of Naknek is the seat of the 531 square-mile Bristol Bay Borough. Incorporated in 1962, the Bristol Bay Borough is the oldest borough in the state. Yup’ik Eskimos and Athabascan Indians first settled this area over 6,000 years ago.

In 1821, the original Eskimo village was recorded as Naugeik. By the time the first census was taken in 1880, the village was called Kinuyak. It was later spelled Naknek by Captain Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy. The Russians built a fort near the village and fur trappers inhabited the area for some time prior to the U.S. purchase of Alaska.

The first salmon cannery opened on the Naknek River in 1890. By 1900, there were approximately 12 canneries in Bristol Bay. One hundred years later, Naknek’s economy is still based on salmon fishing and processing. Over the years, Naknek has developed into a major center for the Bristol Bay commercial sockeye salmon fishery. During the summer months, the population swells to about five thousand, most of whom are fishermen and cannery processor workers.

Source: Bristol Bay Visitor Guide

How to Get There

From Anchorage you will need to fly with Alaska Airlines or Peninsula Airways to King Salmon. From King Salmon it is about a 20 minute drive to Naknek. Rental cars and taxi service are available.

For more information download the full printable Visitor Guide and Business Directory
or visit the Bristol Bay Borough website.