A westward view of downtown Naknek in the summer.
Location of Naknek, Alaska
|• Borough mayor||Karl Anderson|
|• Total||84.8 sq mi (219.7 km2)|
|• Land||84.2 sq mi (218.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)|
|• Density||6.4/sq mi (2.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)|
|• Summer (DST)||AKDT (UTC-8)|
Naknek is located on the north bank of the Naknek River, close to where the river runs into the Kvichak Bay arm of the northeastern end of Bristol Bay. South Naknek is on the other side of the river. The local economy is almost entirely based on salmon fishing.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 84.8 square miles (220 km2), of which, 84.2 square miles (218 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it is water. The total area is 0.80% water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 678 people, 247 households, and 162 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 8.1 people per square mile (3.1/km²). There were 455 housing units at an average density of 5.4 per square mile (2.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 49.47% White, 2.00% Black or African American, 45.28% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.74% Pacific Islander, and 2.36% from two or more races. 0.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 247 households out of which 44.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.44.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 35.0% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 3.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 116.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.6 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $53,393, and the median income for a family was $65,000. Males had a median income of $44,375 versus $35,341 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,182. About 3.1% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older.
In 1821, a Yupik village called Naugeik was noted by Capt. Lt. Vasiliev of the Imperial Russian Navy. It was later spelled Naknek by the Russians. The Russians built a fort, Fort Suvarov, near the village and Russian fur trappers inhabited the area in the 1800s, before the Alaska Purchase. A Russian Orthodox church was also built near the fort.
The first salmon cannery opened on the Naknek River in 1890; by 1900, there were 12 canneries around Bristol Bay.
The land owned by the Russian Orthodox Church on the north bank of the Naknek River was the first land recorded in Naknek. Squatters built shelters on the church property and were eventually sold lots in what became the center of Naknek.
Naknek has developed as a major salmon fishing center for both commercial fishing and sport fishing. Fish from the canneries is transported over a 25-km-long (15 mi) road to King Salmon, where it is shipped to markets outside Alaska.
Naknek has also been called Naugvik, Kinghiak, Libbyville, Pawik, and Suvarov (also spelled Suwarof or Suworof) at various times in its history.
- 2015 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League. 2015. p. 4.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Bristol Bay Borough School District". Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Education". Bristol Bay Borough. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
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