1st Class City
in the Dillingham Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (dill' een ham); a.k.a. Curyung; includes Kanakanak
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
- Bristol Bay
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Water Treatment Plant, Piped Sewer, Landfill, Harbor/Dock, Police, Volunteer Fire/EMS/Rescue, Planning, Library, Roads, Schools, Animal Control, Senior Citizen Center, Jail (State Contract), Sam Fox Museum
Geography and Climate
- 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.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The primary climatic influence is maritime; however, the arctic climate of the Interior also affects the Bristol Bay coast. Average summer temperatures range from 37 to 66 °F. Average winter temperatures range from 4 to 30 °F. Annual precipitation averages 26 inches, and annual snowfall averages 65 inches. Heavy fog is common in July and August. Winds of up to 60-70 mph may occur between December and March. The Nushagak River is ice-free from June through November.
History and Culture
- 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.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Curyung Tribal Council
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Dillingham can be reached by air and sea. The state-owned airport provides a 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 paved road to Aleknagik; it was first constructed in 1960.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection