2nd Class City
in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (an' ee ack)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Aniak is located on the south bank of the Kuskokwim River at the head of Aniak Slough, 59 miles southeast of Russian Mission in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. It lies 92 air miles northeast of Bethel and 317 miles west of Anchorage.
- Climate is maritime in the summer and continental in winter. Temperatures range between -55 and 87 °F. Average yearly precipitation is 19 inches, and average yearly snowfall is 60 inches. The Kuskokwim is ice-free from mid-June through October.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Aniak is a Yup'ik word meaning "the place where it comes out," which refers to the mouth of the Aniak River. This river played a key role in the placer gold rush of 1900-01. In 1914, Tom L. Johnson homesteaded the site and opened a store and post office. The Yup'ik village of Aniak had been abandoned long before this time. Eskimos Willie Pete and Sam Simeon brought their families from Ohagamuit to Aniak, which reestablished the Native community. A Russian-era trader named Semyeon Lukin is credited with the discovery of gold near Aniak in 1832. A territorial school opened in 1936. Construction of an airfield began in 1939, followed by the erection of the White Alice radar-relay station in 1956, which closed in 1978. The city was incorporated in 1972.
- Aniak's population is primarily Yup'ik Eskimos and Tanaina Athabascans. Subsistence foods contribute largely to villagers' diets. Many families travel to fish camps each summer.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Village of Aniak
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Sewer, Landfill, Library, Aniak Volunteer Fire Dept., Animal Control, Roads, Pull Tabs, State Funded Public Safety Officer(VPSO), Search and Rescue
- Access to Aniak is limited to air and water. The state-owned airport has an asphalt runway that is lighted, and is equipped for instrument approaches. Regular flights are provided by several carriers, including charter operators. Float planes can also land on Aniak Slough. Fuel and supplies are brought in by barge during the summer; other goods are delivered by air year-round. There is no road connection to other villages, although trails and the frozen Kuskokwim River are used by snow machines during winter. When the river is frozen, it is used as an ice road to access Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek and Bethel. A winter trail is marked to Kalskag (15 mi).
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.