Manokotak, AK

  • Location and Climate

    Manokotak is located 25 miles southwest of Dillingham on the Igushik River. It lies 347 miles southwest of Anchorage. The community lies at approximately 58.981390° North Latitude and -159.05833° (West) Longitude.  (Sec. 12, T014S, R059W, Seward Meridian.)   Manokotak is located in the Bristol Bay Recording District.  The area encompasses 36.4 sq. miles of land and 0.9 sq. miles of water.  Manokotak is located in a climatic transition zone. The primary influence is maritime, although the arctic climate affects the region. Average summer temperatures range from 40 to 70; winter temperatures average from 4 to 30. Annual precipitation ranges from 20 to 26 inches. Fog and high winds exist periodically through the year. The River is ice-free from June through mid-November.

    History, Culture and Demographics

    Manokotak is one of the newer villages in the Bristol Bay region. It became a permanent settlement in 1946-47 with the consolidation of the villages of Igushik and Tuklung. People also migrated from Kulukak, Togiak and Aleknagik. Igushik is now used as a summer fish camp by many of the residents of Manokotak. School was conducted in a church constructed in 1949. A school was built in 1958-59. A post office was established in 1960. Trapping has been an attractive lure to the area, although it has declined since the 1960s. The City was incorporated in 1970.

    A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Manokotak Village Council. The population of the community consists of 94.7% Alaska Native or part Native.  Manokotak is a Yup'ik Eskimo village with a fishing, trapping and subsistence lifestyle. The sale, importation or possession of alcohol is banned in the village. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 106, and vacant housing units numbered 13. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 2. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 90 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 13.73 percent, although 64.84 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $26,875, per capita income was $9,294, and 35.3 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.

    Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

    Water is derived from two wells, is treated and stored in a 150,000-gallon water storage tank. A piped water and sewer system, constructed in 1972, serves 68 households and the school with complete plumbing. Two homes and a duplex have individual wells. Manokotak Heights, located 4 miles to the south, is served by a well and treatment system, but water shortages have occurred. New HUD housing units were built in 2000, and additional units are planned. A feasibility study is underway to examine water, sewer and landfill improvements. Electricity is provided by Manokotak Power Company. There is one school located in the community,  attended by 142 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Manokotak Village Clinic (289-1077).  Manokotak is classified as an isolated village, it is found in EMS Region 2I in the Bristol Bay Region. Emergency Services have river and air access. Emergency service is provided by volunteers and a health aide  Auxiliary health care is provided by Manokotak First Responders (289-1025).

    Economy and Transportation

    96 residents hold commercial fishing permits for salmon and herring fisheries. Many residents also trap fox, beaver, mink and otter. Most villagers leave Manokotak during the fishing season. Everyone depends heavily on fishing and subsistence activities, and usually move to Igushik or Ekuk each summer. Salmon, herring, sea lion, beluga whale, trout, ptarmigan, duck and berries are harvested. Sharing relationships exist with several area villages, especially Togiak and Twin Hills.

    Manokotak is accessible by air and water. Regular and charter flights are available from Dillingham. There is a State-owned 2,720' long by60' wide lighted gravel airstrip located one mile to the north, and a 5,000' designated seaplane base. Lighterage services deliver cargo each summer, but must pull up to the mud beach; there are currently no docking facilities on the Igushik River. The Igushik River consists of tight, broad meandering loops, therefore many miles of waterway must be traveled to cover a comparably short distance in air miles. A 6.5-mile road to a barge landing area on Snake River began construction in 1998. ATVs, snowmachines, and some vehicles are used for local travel. The Manokotak Trail to Dillingham is used by snowmachines during winter to haul fuel.

    Information taken from State of Alaska Online Community Database