New Stuyahok, AK

  • Location and Climate

    New Stuyahok is located on the Nushagak River, about 12 miles upriver from Ekwok and 52 miles northeast of Dillingham. The village has been constructed at two elevations -- one 25 feet above river level, and one about 40 feet above river level. The community lies at approximately 59.452780° North Latitude and -157.31194° (West) Longitude.  (Sec. 29,T008S, R047W, Seward Meridian.)   New Stuyahok is located in the Bristol Bay Recording District.  The area encompasses 32.6 sq. miles of land and 2.0 sq. miles of water.  New Stuyahok is located in a climatic transition zone. The primary influence is maritime, although a continental climate affects the weather. Average summer temperatures range from 37 to 66; winter temperatures average 4 to 30. Annual precipitation ranges from 20 to 35 inches. Fog and low clouds are common during the summer; strong winds often preclude access during the winter. The River is ice-free from June through mid-November.

    History, Culture and Demographics

    The present location is the third site that villagers can remember. The village moved downriver to the Mulchatna area from the "Old Village" in 1918. During the 1920s and 30s, the village was engaged in herding reindeer for the U.S. government. However, by 1942 the herd had dwindled to nothing; the village had been subjected to flooding; and the site was too far inland even to receive barge service. So in 1942,the village moved downriver again to its present location. Stuyahok appropriately means "going downriver place." The first school was built in 1961. A post office was also established during that year. An airstrip was built soon thereafter, and the 1960s saw a 40% increase in the village population. The City was incorporated in 1972. 

    A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the New Stuyahok Village Council. The population of the community consists of 96% Alaska Native or part Native.  New Stuyahok is a southern Yup'ik Eskimo village with Russian Orthodox influences. Residents practice a fishing and subsistence lifestyle. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 107, and vacant housing units numbered 2. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 1. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 132 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 9.2 percent, although 55.25 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $26,042, per capita income was $7,931, and 31.7 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.

    Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care

    Water is derived from a well and is treated. A new well is underdevelopment. The majority of the community (94 homes), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; six homes are without complete plumbing. A Master Plan has been funded. Electricity is provided by AVEC. There is one school located in the community,  attended by 166 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include New Stuyahok Health Clinic (693-3131).  New Stuyahok 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 New Stuyahok First Responders (693-3173).

    Economy and Transportation

    The primary economic base in New Stuyahok is the salmon fishery; 43 residents hold commercial fishing permits. Many trap as well. The entire community relies upon subsistence foods. Subsistence items are often traded between communities. Salmon, moose, caribou, rabbit, ptarmigan, duck and geese are the primary sources of meat.

    Air transport is most frequently used to reach the community. Regular and charter flights are available from Dillingham. The State-owned gravel airstrip is 1,800' long by 50' wide and lighted. It is located on a hilltop; windy conditions often preclude landing. The community has requested funds for construction of a crosswind landing strip.There are no docking facilities. Goods are lightered on a regular basis during the summer. Skiffs, ATVs and snowmachines are prevalent forms of local transportation.

    Information taken from State of Alaska Online Community Database