Kodiak Alaska: Home to Kodiak Bears, Incredible Fishing, and Outdoor Activities
Roughly 250 miles south of Anchorage lies Kodiak Island, Alaska’s hidden gem of unspoiled natural beauty, world-class fishing, and outdoor adventure.
While Kodiak is probably best known for its legendary Kodiak Brown Bear, this ‘Emerald Isle’ is also famous for its incredible fishery and phenomenal outdoor activities. Besides having the world’s largest bears, Kodiak is home to enormous salmon, halibut, and a wide variety of sea ducks, marine life and trophy Sitka deer amidst lush green forests, crystal-clear streams, and unforgettable snow-capped mountains.
Kodiak Island History
Kodiak, Alaska has rich history dating back 7,500 years, when the island was first settled by the Alutiiq, a coastal people related to the Aleuts. The Alutiiq lived off of the land, subsisting primarily on Kodiak’s salmon, halibut, and whale. Many artifacts including oil lamps and arrowheads are still found all over the island and date back to the early Alutiiq establishments.
The Alutiiq people thrived on Kodiak Island until the mid-1700s, when Russian merchants and fur traders arrived in search for valuable sea-otter pelts and new fishing grounds. After seeing Kodiak’s rich natural resources, the Russians named it the capital of their Russian Colony in Alaska. Large-scale commercial fishing operations began in 1882, when the first salmon cannery was built on the Karluk River to process the legendary sockeye runs.
After the Russians sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, many American entrepreneurs migrated to Kodiak to continue commercial fishing operations. The island’s commercial fishery was primarily dedicated to salmon, but starting in the 1950’s, large-scale King Crab fishing began to flourish, and within a few years, the island was known as the King Crab capital of the world. By the mid-1970s the King crab harvest began to decline and most crabbing moved west to Dutch Harbor. However, many of the boats on ‘The Deadliest Catch’ are still based out of Kodiak.
Today, Kodiak’s economy is still based around the fishing industry, with an abundance of commercial and sport fishing operations.