in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
- Area Type
- Place of Interest
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (buh loo' guh)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Geography and Climate
- Beluga is located 8 miles northeast of Tyonek, along Cook Inlet in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. It lies 40 air miles southwest of Anchorage.
- Winter temperatures typically range 4 to 22 °F. Summer temperatures average 46 to 65 °F. Temperature extremes have been recorded from a low of -27 to a high of 91 °F. Average annual precipitation is 23 inches, and average annual snowfall is 82 inches.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Various Tanaina Athabascan settlements in this area include Old Tyonek Creek, Robert Creek, Timber Camp, Beluga, and Moquawkie Indian Reservation. Russian trading settlements were established in the area prior to the 1790s. Beluga means "white whale" in Russian and refers to the beluga whales that feed in Cook Inlet. Between 1836 and 1840, half of the region's Natives died from a smallpox epidemic. The Alaska Commercial Company had a major outpost at nearby Tyonek by 1875. In 1880, "Tyonok" station and village, believed to be two separate communities, had a total of 117 residents, including 109 Athabascans, 6 "creoles", and 2 whites. After gold was discovered at Resurrection Creek in the 1880s, Tyonek became a major disembarkment point for goods and people. A saltery was established in 1896 at the mouth of the Chuitna River north of Tyonek. In 1915, the Tyonek Reservation (also known as Moquawkie Indian Reservation) was established. The village of Tyonek was moved to its present location atop a bluff when the old site flooded in the early 1930s.
- Beluga is a CDP in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. It has a low population density, with a total area of 103.4 square miles and a total of 32 year-round residents as of the 2000 census. The population increases significantly in the summer, as residents of Southcentral Alaska utilize the many recreational cabins in the community. Year-round residents tend to work in field services for the oil and gas industry. The majority of Beluga's land owners are involved in sport fishing and hunting.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Beluga has two private gravel runways. A road connects Beluga to nearby Tyonek. Barges deliver heavy goods to the area, and a dock is available.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District