Robert (HERK) McDermott is the Port Foreman/Harbor Master. The Port of Bristol Bay with the Main facility in Naknek, remains the largest commercial freight dock in Bristol Bay and a “shipping hub” for Southwestern Alaska from Dutch Harbor to Bethel. The Port has maintained a steady growth since beginning operations in 1983. The down river side of the Naknek cargo dock is designated for fishermen and is approximately 300 ft. long with wood piling 6 ft. on center with 5 ladder locations. Electricity, potable water, restrooms, trash, used oil disposal and telephones are available to all daily and season pass holders.
Across the Naknek River, the South Naknek Dock constructed of concrete and steel measures 80 feet x 200 feet and is a “T” style dock. In King Salmon there is a bulk head dock and Boat Ramp that all outdoor enthusiasts can use.
All three dock locations are equipped with a life preserver board known as Kids Don’t Float. The boards provide life preservers to not only children but to anyone who may not have one. The system is set up on the honor system and generally the preservers are returned in a timely manner. The Port has been involved for nearly 10 years in the highly successful program. We have additional boards at Rapids Camp, Lake Camp and recently added one to the Naknek Beach access.
The docks are open from April into November. Annual Spring dredging by crane maintains a constant 16’-20’ depth of water at the face of the Naknek Dock at Zero (0) tide level (MLLW). For this part of Alaska remaining afloat at low water automatically makes the Naknek cargo dock a “deep water” dock for the extreme low tides of Western Alaska. Easy access, along with the amenities and support available at the Port and from the Naknek/King Salmon area, make the Port a very busy place.
From early May through July, the terminal is operating 24 hours a day/seven days a week to handle the loading and discharging of vessels and trucks and staging and distributing cargo. The remainder of the season 10 to 12 hour days are normal, as barge traffic slows and the fishing season winds down. At this time of year the warehouse and terminal are open during "normal" business hours, but vessel service is determined by the tides. All vessel scheduling and services are scheduled and arranged through the Harbor Master. The goal of the Borough Port is to provide a "public utility facility" available to all users and to service as many vessels and move as much cargo as is needed to help keep the industries moving.
There are no limitations to the types of cargo handled. Large and small vessels, heavy equipment, buildings, autos, groceries, fishing gear, and supplies are common commodities.
About 1.5 million gallons of fuel is pumped to the local electrical co-op and is also pumped into trucks for hauling to the King Salmon Air Force Base.
Northland Services and Alaska-Logistics provide barge service to Naknek from Seattle & Anchorage, with regular "Southbound" backhauls. The main export commodity is Bristol Bay Salmon. Several thousand containers arrive full of processing supplies and depart later full of fish and gear. Many barges full of fish depart frequently for Dutch Harbor and beyond to keep a steady seasonal flow of Bristol Bay Salmon to the Lower 48, Japan and Europe. Lighterage barges stay busy shuffling to and from coastal villages and both on-shore and off-shore processing plants.
|Containers at the port||More containers...|
|Hauling containers for unloading||The port from the air, unloading a barge|
|Our new crane pulling a tug boat out of the water at the end of the season|