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Dillingham Alaska
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Population: 2400. Visitor Information: Dillingham Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 348, Dillingham, AK 99576; Phone: (907) 842-5115; Email: dlgchmbr@nushtel.com; Website: www.dillinghamak.com; located at 348 D Street inside the Public Library building, next door to the Sam Fox Museum.
Dillingham Alaska

Founded in 1818 as a Russian trade center, Dillingham is now an established fishing community which has evolved into the economic, transportation and public service center for western Bristol Bay. Commercial, subsistence and world-class sport fishing, fish processing, cold storage and support of the fishing industry are primary activities. Bristol Bay's rivers support the world's largest red salmon run; all five species of Pacific salmon, halibut, Actic char and grayling, northern pike, Dolly Varden, rainbow and lake trout are all found in great abundance in area waters. A wide variety of guided fishing adventures are available.

There are five national wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and parks in the region, as well as a number of state parks and wildlife protection areas. Dillingham is considered the gateway to Wood-Tikchik State Park, the largest in the nation at 1.6 million acres. Primary access to fabulous fishing on the vast Togiak Wildlife Refuge river systems is by chartered aircraft, largely centered in Dillingham. Hunters may go out on their own, in the company of local guides or operate from one of the many hunting lodges. Bristol Bay supports the largest caribou herd in Alaska, as well as large numbers of moose, brown and black bear and waterfowl, ptarmigan and grouse.

The varied landscape is comprised of towering volcanic peaks, berry and wildflower-dotted rolling tundra and rich grasslands. In coastal areas, visitors can explore waterfalls, fossil beds and agate-studded beaches, dig for clams and view beluga and orca whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters and walrus. Crystal clear lakes and streams offer ample opportunities for rafting, canoeing and kayaking adventures.

While Native Yup'ik Eskimo, Aleut, Aluiq and Athabascan peoples maintain their traditional ways and invite visitors to experience their dances and stories, arts and crafts, food and history, other cultures have influenced local customs to varying degrees: the Russian Orthodox church, Moravian missionaries, Scandinavian, German and Japanese influences have all contributed to the richness of the Southwest Alaskan way of life.

Visitors will find comfortable accommodations at B&Bs, hotels and lodges, and may also enjoy wilderness camping in the surrounding vast expanses, where one may spend an entire trip without seeing another person.

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