Aleknagik Lake

Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska has a bounty of beautiful waterways. The Alaskan waterways play an integral role in the state.. Be sure and check out our Alaska water pages including: Alaska's Coastline, Alaska's Lakes, and Alaska's Rivers. Some of Alaska's great lakes include: Aleknagik LakeBecharof Lake, Clark Lakeliamna Lake, and  Minchumina Lake

Alaska has about 3,197 officially named natural lakes, out of over 3,000,000 unnamed natural lakes. 86,051 square miles of Alaska are covered by water.  The largest, Lake Iliamna, encompasses over 1,000 square miles. Many of Alaska's lakes are only reachable by air or boat. Lakes that are easily accessible are used for recreation such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

Aleknagik Lake is a lake in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 32 km (20 mi) long by 26 km (16 mi) wide. The village of Aleknagik is on its southeast shore. Aleknagik is a Yupik word meaning "wrong way home". Yupiks returning to their homes along the Nushagak River would sometimes become lost in the fog and be swept up the Wood River to Aleknagik Lake by the tide. Fog and low clouds are common during July and August and may preclude access. Wood River and Aleknagik Lake have been used historically as summer fish camps. The lake and river are ice-free from June through mid-November.

Aleknagik is the only regional village with a road link to Dillingham, a 25-mile (40 km) road which connects the south shore. The "New Aleknagik" airport is a State-owned 2,070' long by 90' wide gravel airstrip located on the north shore, and regular flights are scheduled through Dillingham. The north shore of the lake is not road accessible; residents use skiffs to travel to town on the south shore. Moody's Aleknagik Seaplane Base, also on the north shore, accommodates float planes. There are two additional airstrips, the public Tripod Airport, a 1,250' turf-gravel airstrip located 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of Aleknagik, and the Adventist Mission School Airport, a 1,200' gravel/dirt airstrip with a crosswind runway. The State owns and operates a 100' dock on the north shore of Aleknagik Lake. A breakwater, barge landing, boat launch ramp and boat lift are available on the north shore. Vehicles, skiffs, ATVs and snow machines are the most frequent means of local transportation.

Lake Aleknagik SRS is the Gateway to Wood-Tikchik State Parks. The site provides the dpeparture point for visitors to Lake Aleknagik and Wood-Tikchik State Park. Limited accommodations are available for boat and float planes. Gasoline and aviation fuel is available in Aleknagik. The Wood-Tikchik Park ranger station is located here.

For hundreds of years the village of Aleknagik was the hub of trade and culture for the Alaska native peoples who lived throughout the Bristol Bay region. The ideal setting along the shores of Lake Aleknagik and the safe haven this location provided from the harsh winters of Southwest Alaska, proved to be the reason many of the regions natives made Aleknagik their winter home. Fur was the main item of commerce along with dried fish, berries, and hides from the previous summers harvest. Lessons learned from fishing and hunting expeditions were shared, creating strong ties amongst the people who came here.

The longer days of spring and the break up of ice signaled the people to leave the village to hunt and gather food for their return to Aleknagik in the fall and winter. The lives of the people here were ones of complex simplicity. Survival of the tribe depended on their skills as hunters, fishermen, and craftsmen.There was little room for error in this land. The terrain in which they traveled was laden with hazards, and the weak or unwise didn’t last very long. This land also provided for its people with abundant fish, game, fowl and vegetation.

In 1897 the first barrels of salted Salmon aboard the schooner Neptune arrive at the ports of the west coast. Life would never be the same for the natives of Aleknagik. The traditional ways of survival would give way to “commercial fishing” as the villagers were forced to yield to the demands of the canneries and their influence. Fishing quickly replaced trapping as the major source of income among the people of the region.

Lake Aleknagik is the southern most in a string of lakes that form the Wood River Lakes system. With road access to Dillingham, the village of Aleknagik on the lake’s southern end functions as the gateway toWood-Tikchik State Park. This is the largest state park in the United States and one of Alaska’s premier sport fishing, kayaking and canoeing areas.


Aleknagik Lake in Alaska

beautiful Aleknagik Lake in Alaska

Alaska's Rivers:

Alaska has more than 12,000 rivers including the nine major rivers listed below:

Learn more about Alaskan rivers

Colville River Copper River Gulkana River
Kuskokwim River Noatak River Porcupine River
Susitna River Tanana River Yukon River.