Port of Sand Point
Review and History

The Port of Sand Point is located in Humboldt Harbor on Popof Island off the Alaska Peninsula over 900 kilometers (almost 600 air-miles) from Anchorage. The Port of Sand Point is about 84 nautical miles (120 kilometers or 74 miles by air) east of the Port of King Cove. The 2000 US Census reported a population of 952 in the Port of Sand Point.

The Port of Sand Point is the base for the biggest fishing fleet in Alaska's Aleutian Chain. The Port of Sand Point is home to an important plant owned by Trident Seafoods for processing pollock, bottomfish, and salmon. Peter Pan Seafoods has a transfer and storage station in the Port of Sand Point. In addition to working in the fishing industry, residents pursue subsistence hunting (caribou) and fishing.

Port History

A San Francisco fishing company established a trading post and cod fishing station at the site of the future Port of Sand Point in 1898. The first people to move to the new community were Aleuts from nearby villages and Scandinavian fishermen.

During the early 20th Century, the Port of Sand Point was a supply and repair center for gold miners. By the 1930s, fishing and fish processing had become the leading industries. The Russian Orthodox St. Nicholas Chapel was built in 1933. Today, the chapel is on the US National Register of Historic Places. In 1946, a halibut plant was built in the Port of Sand Point by Aleutian Cold Storage.

Nearly half of the residents of the Port of Sand Point are Aleut or Unangan peoples from the Qagan Tayagungin tribe who rely on fishing and fish processing for their livelihood. Over 130 residents have commercial fishing permits. Located above the tree line, the Port of Sand Point has a small bison herd (brought there in the 1930s) that supplies island residents with meat.

The Port of Sand Point has an airport with a paved runway and daily flights to Anchorage as well as flights to Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor several times a week as the weather permits. It has frequent high winds resulting from the meeting of cold air from the Bering Sea with warm air over the Japan Current.

The Port of Sand Point can be reached by air and sea only. During the summer and early fall, the Alaska Marine Highway's Tustumena stops in the Port of Sand Point several times each month. Operating from May through October, the Alaska ferry moves people, cars, and trucks between the Port of Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, Dutch Harbor, and False Pass.

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