Kotlik, Alaska

Kotlik (KAWT-lick)


Current Population: 601 (2011 DCCED Commissioner Certified Estimate, June 15, 2012)

Location and Climate: Kotlik is located on the east bank of the Kotlik Slough, 35 miles northeast of Emmonak in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. It lies 165 air miles northwest of Bethel and 460 miles from Anchorage. The community lies at approximately 63.034170° North Latitude and -163.553330° West Longitude. (Sec. 25, T028S, R026W, Kateel River Meridian.) Kotlik is located in the Bethel Recording District. The area encompasses 3.8 sq. miles of land and 0.8 sq. miles of water.
The climate of Kotlik is subarctic. Temperatures range between -50 and 87 °F. Annually, there is an average of 60 inches of snowfall and a total of 16 inches of precipitation. High winds and poor visibility are common during fall and winter. Norton Sound and the Yukon are ice-free from mid-June through October.

History, Culture and Demographics: The community grew during the mid-1960s when a BIA school was constructed at Kotlik, and residents of the nearby villages of Channiliut, Hamilton, Bill Moore's Slough, and Pastolaik relocated. Due to its location with easy access by large riverboats and barges, Kotlik became one of the larger ports and commercial centers of the lower Yukon River. Many residents are descendants of Russian traders that settled in the area surrounding Saint Michael after 1867. The city was incorporated in 1970.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Village of Kotlik. It is a Yup'ik Eskimo village practicing a fishing, trapping, and subsistence lifestyle. Residents of Hamilton, a nearby summer fish camp, also live in Kotlik. The sale, importation, and possession of alcohol is banned in the village.
According to Census 2010, there were 148 housing units in the community and 128 were occupied. Its population was 97.2 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 1.9 percent white; 0.4 percent Asian; 0.4 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 0.2 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Transportation: Air transportation of passengers, cargo, and mail is provided via the state-owned 4,422' long by 100' wide gravel airstrip. There is no road access, although Kotlik is easily accessible by barge. Residents use the river for commercial and private travel.