Lower Kalskag (Kessiglik)


The community of Lower Kalskag is two miles downriver from Kalskag. The present location is on an area originally used as a fish camp by Kalskag residents. In the 1930’s, Yup’ik residents relocated to Lower Kalskag because of religious differences. Many practice the Russian Orthodox faith. The local government of the Village of Lower Kalskag is a federally recognized tribe. The community continues to practice a traditional way of life of which subsistence is key component. Foods include salmon, moose, waterfowl, black bear, and porcupine.


Lower Kalskag, and its twin city, Upper Kalskag, are primarily Yup’ik and Athabascan communities only two miles apart from one another located in the middle Kuskokwim River area. They share one airport and the state maintains a dirt road which joins the two communities. They are about 26 miles west of Aniak, the closest large city and about 90 miles northeast of Bethel. The climate in these cities is semi-arctic with maritime influences from the Bering Sea. The precipitation averages about 19 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall. Temperatures range between -55 and 87. The Kuskokwim River is ice-free from mid-June through October.