Kodiak is known for it’s off-the-chart hunting and fishing experiences, as well as it’s breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and infamous Kodiak Brown Bear. The “Emerald Isle” is truly a destination of a lifetime. Here’s why:
Hunting & Fishing Opportunities
Kodiak is world renown for it’s off-the-chart hunting and fishing opportunities. Primary species include:
Kodiak Brown Bear
Sitka black-tailed Deer
Salmon (all 5 species)
It may come as a surprise that the Kodiak Brown bear is the only big game animal indigenous to Kodiak Island. All other big game species on Kodiak were introduced.
Kodiak Island, being home to the biggest bear in the world, makes it a bucket list destination for many avid hunters. Due to the increasing bear population, ADF&G issues 496 annual bear permits for the Island. However, only approximately 180 bears are harvested each year. For more information on hunting Kodiak Brown Bear, read my blog post, “Hunting Kodiak Brown Bear.”
My family owns a hunting and fishing lodge on Kodiak Island. At Kodiak Safari’s we offer 5 day/5 night all-inclusive hunting and fishing packages. Our trips include world class unguided Sitka Black-Tailed Deer hunts (where you are allowed 3 tags per year) including Fox, Sea Ducks, and some of the best Halibut & Salmon fishing Alaska has to offer. Come up to the great Kodiak island and customize your trip with hunting, fishing and crabbing all in one week!
During the Summer months, our clients spend the day fishing for Halibut, all 5 species of Salmon, and Rockfish on the pristine Alaskan waters. No long boat rides, no open ocean or strong currents, we fish just 10 minutes from the lodge!
We are located in Larsen Bay, Alaska (on Kodiak Island) and just several miles from the famous Karluk river – one of the largest salmon producing rivers in the world. So this makes for some unbelievable river fishing!
We also offer unguided Caribou hunts. This hunt requires a 15 minute flight by float plane & overnight camp. However, you start and end at the lodge, so hunting, fishing, and crabbing can be added at no additional cost.
Kodiak Island is wildly popular for wildlife viewing. The most popular sightings the Kodiak Brown Bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, Fox, Bald Eagles, Humpback & Killer Whales, Puffins, Sea Otters, Sea Lions & more!
Today, Kodiak is among the top three fishing ports in the United States, with landings of 417 million pounds of seafood in 2015. It is home to approx. 700 fishing vessels and is Alaska’s largest commercial fishing boat fleet, including multiple Deadliest Catch boats (Cornelia Marie, Incentive, etc).
People come from all over the world to work on commercial fishing vessels – some making upwards of $80,000 during the Summer. The catch is, it’s a gamble. Depending on the boat and harvest, some leave without making a dime. Luckily, the commercial fishing industry can be somewhat predictable – but, never promised. It all hinges on nature and “the big guy upstairs.”
Canneries provide 2,790 jobs. Combined with the fishing fleet, the seafood industry makes up for over 40% of Kodiak’s employment.
My father and brother have been running their own commercial fishing boats since the age of 16. Growing up in a commercial fishing family, I can confidently say: it’s a way of life! We primarily seine for Salmon & Herring and pot fish for Dungeness, Tanner Crab & Pacific Cod. My father’s boat is named after me, the F/V Stephanie Lynn. My brother’s boat is named the F/V Emily Rose, after his daughter. Below is a photo of our boats:
In the Summertime, Kodiak closely resembles the nickname “Emerald Isle” while it is abundant in rich, green vegetation and fireweed.
The climate is similar to that of Washington and is considered to be a temperate rainforest. Annually, it receives a whopping average of 81 inches of rainfall! In addition, Kodiak averages 60 inches of annual snow.
Unlike most states in the U.S., daylight hours fluctuate from 18 hours in the Summer to just 6.5 hours in the Winter. Average temperatures range from 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the Winter to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the Summer.
History of Kodiak
The history of Kodiak is an adventure in and of itself. Check out the bunkers at Fort Abercrombie or visit the Kodiak History Museum to see some cool artifacts. Some interesting historical facts about Kodiak Island, include:
Kodiak was originally inhabited by the Alutiiq for over 7,000 years. However, the first outsider settled on the island in 1784- a Russian fur trader, Grigory Shelikhov. This led to war and the enslavement of the Native Americans for many years to come. Also, Russian fur traders radically hunted sea otters to near exploitation.
In 1867, Kodiak joined the United States, following the Alaska purchase. This was when the U.S. purchased 586,412 square miles of Alaska from the Russian empire for just $7.2 million dollars. However, Alaska did not become it’s own state until 1959.
Kodiak is where the first King Crab was discovered and processed. From 1913-1939, Kodiak was known as the King Crab Capital of the world. Although due to unproven causes and/or the possibility of over fishing, the season depleted and was never reinstated.
Following the Japanese bombing of Dutch Harbor in 1942, Kodiak became a major military base. An air base, submarine base, bunkers, and gun emplacements were build at Chiniak, Long Island, and Abercrombie in case of attack. Today, Kodiak holds the largest Coast Guard base in the world and is home to a rocket launch site used by the United States military.
In 1964, a 9.2 earthquake hit Kodiak. It is now known as the Great Earthquake,which is the second largest earthquake ever recorded. After the Great Earthquake, Kodiak was hit with a major tsunami that resulted in 131 deaths.Damage to the community’s fleet and processing equipment cost over $11 million dollars. My dad was just 6 years old in the event of the tsunami so I’ve heard many stories about Kodiak’s reaction to the traumatic episode. Many families (including my fathers) spent 3-4 days on the mountain and waited for the warnings to subside.
Fun Facts About Kodiak
Kodiak Island is located in the Gulf of Alaska, just 40 miles from the mainland separated by the Shelikof Straight.
The archipelago is approximately 117 miles long and 67 miles wide. It has a total area of about 3,595 square miles over the 25 islands.
Kodiak’s terrain includes mountains, flatlands, forests, meadows, rivers, and lakes.
Kodiak is called home by approximately 13,000 residents and 3,500 bears, that’s roughly 1 bear per square mile!
The City of Kodiak is the largest community of Kodiak. However, there are 6 rural communities scattered about the island, ranging from 50 to 250 in population. These communities include:
Kodiak’s high rate of seasonal commercial fishing, tourism, and the largest coast guard base in the world makes the population fluctuate dramatically between seasons.
Things to Do on Kodiak
Aside from hunting and fishing, there is a plethora of additional outdoor adventures on Kodiak.It really is a dream come true for the avid outdoorsman! Just to name a few:
Visiting National Parks
From the infamous Kodiak Brown Bear, flourishing commercial fishing industry, adventurous history, and beautiful wildlife, you can see why Kodiak is truly an unbelievable destination. I feel so fortunate to call this island home.
If you have any questions about Kodiak Island or want more information on visiting the island, contact Krimson!
P.S. To see some of Kodiak’s best views, check out my music video on Krimson Trail!