Chignik Lagoon, Alaska Peninsula

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Chignik Lagoon trends northeast for 8 miles (13 km) to Chignik Bay, about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of the community of Chignik, on the Alaska Peninsula. The lagoon was named after Chignik Bay in 1899 by Lieutenant Commander J. F. Moser, of the U.S. Navy, on the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries steamer Albatross.

Chignik Lagoon is now a very remote Native village, and one of the three separate Chignik villages, the others are Chignik Bay and Chignik Lake. The only access to all three villages is by water or air transportation. Chignik Lagoon took its name from the Aleut word for "big wind", in reference to the notorious winds of the Alaska Peninsula. The Chignik area was originally populated by the Kanaigmuit people who were sea-dependent, living on otter, sea lion, porpoise, and whale. During the Russian fur boom from 1767 to 1783, the sea otter population was decimated, and diseases and warfare reduced the Native population to less than half its former size.

The commercial salmon industry introduced European immigrants into the area in the 19th century. The area now has 4th generation Scandinavian and European Russian Aleut mix. The local economy is still largely based on commercial fishing for Pacific Cod, halibut, and salmon. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Chignik Lagoon.


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