NATIVE VILLAGE OF UGASHIK
Photo by Hattie Albecker
Ugashik (pronounced yoo-GASH-ick.) is located on the northwest coast of the Alaska Peninsula, 16 miles up the Ugashik River from Pilot Point. There is a State-owned, 3,000' long by 60' wide gravel runway available. Scheduled and charter flights are available from King Salmon.
Yup'ik Eskimos and Aleuts jointly occupied the area historically. This Aleut village was first recorded in 1880 as "Oogashik." In the 1890s, the Red Salmon Company developed a cannery, and Ugashik became one of the largest villages in the region. The 1919 flu epidemic decimated the population. The cannery has continued to operate under various owners. The Briggs Way Cannery opened in 1963.
It is a traditional site of the Alutiiq, however very few people now live in Ugashik year-round. Some of the village's people live in nearby Pilot Point, on the coast. Tribal members live throughout Alaska, California and Washington. Commercial fishing, fish processing and subsistence activities sustain residents of the area. The population of this tiny community swells to over 200 during the summer as commercial fishermen return to participate in the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.
Accessible by air taxi or boat from here, the nearby Ugashik Lakes are world renowned for trophy arctic grayling fishing. The lakes also support large concentrations of lake trout and provide key feeding habitat for large numbers of sockeye and coho salmon. The Ugashik Narrows, where two of the largest lakes are joined by a shallow flowing narrows, has outstanding recreational opportunities for angling for trophy arctic grayling, and other popular sport fish. The Narrows was also important to prehistoric Native communities.