Pilot Point, Ugashik Bay

Pilot Point, Ugashik Bay

by | Dec 8, 2022

Pilot Point is a community on the eastern shore of Ugashik Bay, on the north coast of the Alaska Peninsula, 83 miles (134 km) south-southwest of King Salmon and 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Ugashik, Alaska. In 1889, this was a mixed Aleut and Yup’ik village with a fish salting facility named “Pilot Station” for the ship pilots stationed here to take boats upriver to a large cannery at Ugashik.

In 1891, a cannery was built here by the Bering Sea Packing Company, and three additional plants were built over the next four years. The first school was built in 1909 and in 1918 the Alaska Packers Association built a three-line cannery. Many nationalities came to work in the canneries including Italians, Chinese and northern Europeans. Only one Aleut family survived the flu pandemic of 1918, and the village was repopulated by Yup’ik in 1923 when reindeer herding was established. A Russian Orthodox Church and a Seventh Day Adventist Church were built in the village, and a post office was established in 1933 with the name Pilot Point. Sediment accretion caused the beach under the cannery dock to widen and the shoaling water eventually prevented boats from accessing the wharf. The cannery closed in 1958.

Today, several historical cannery buildings are well preserved and at least one is still being used. There are several miles of road throughout the community running north and south along the coast, and east into the highlands, but none are connected to the state highway system. Residents rely upon seasonal barge service and year-round air service for food, fuel, and other supplies. Commercial salmon fishing provides the majority of income, and subsistence hunting and fishing are still an important source of food. Residents are also employed in construction, mining, tourism, guiding, health care, education, and government. Read more here and here. Explore more of Pilot Point here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2022 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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