Uganik Lake Float Plane

All commercial users or operations conducted on Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge are required by Federal law to obtain a special use permit from the refuge.

  • Permit Information

    Commercial operations include the following activities: big game guiding, sport fish guiding, commercial fishing, guided wildlife viewing and sightseeing, professional filming and photography, and air transporter services. To obtain a permit for commercial activity on the refuge, a business must submit an application and operational plan to the refuge, and agree to comply with special conditions stipulated on a permit. Some special conditions differ among permit types. Early permit application is encouraged to facilitate timely processing. There is a $100 administrative fee for issuance of the permit and a daily client use fee based on the type of activity in which the commercial user is engaged.
    Special Use Permits

  • Big Game Guiding

    Kodiak Refuge has “sole use” big game hunt guide areas. The refuge is divided into 24 areas and only one guide - competitively selected through a prospectus process - is allowed to provide guided hunt services in each area. A guide may hold up to three areas. Big game guide permits are generally offered once every ten years.  Nonresident brown bear and mountain goat hunters must be accompanied in the field by a big game guide authorized to operate in the area.

  • Sport Fishing Guiding

    Kodiak Refuge is a fisherman’s paradise. All species of pacific salmon and steelhead occur within the refuge. As with other commercial operations, sport fishing guides must have a special use permit. Most areas are open to all fishing guides. However, a prospectus process is used to select guides and manage guided use on portions of four river drainages (Ayakulik, Dog Salmon, Little River, and Uganik). 

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting proposals to conduct commercial sport fish guide services in the Uganik River drainage within the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Three special use permits will be awarded to qualified sport fish guides through a competitive selection process. The permits will be valid from the date issued, through 12/31/2026.

    Proposals must be mailed to the address below before 4:30 P.M. Alaska Time, April 15, 2021:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Attention: Prospectus Request
    Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
    1390 Buskin River Rd.
    Kodiak, Alaska 99615

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  • Guided Wildlife Viewing & Sightseeing

    The number of guided viewing permits is not limited, except near the O’Malley River where a single, sole-use permit is issued via a prospectus processes. Like other commercial guides, viewing guides are required to obtain a special use permit, submit an operations plan, and comply with special conditions stipulated on the permit.

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  • Commercial Audio-Visual Productions

    Private individuals who wish to photograph or film their refuge visits for personal use do not need a refuge permit. However, professional filming activities, where film or video footage is gathered with the intention of using it for commercial purposes, do need a permit. Professional photographers who wish to receive special access or other accommodations not typically available to the general public will also need a permit.

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  • Other Permits

    Air transporter and most scientific research activities also require a permit. For instructions on applying for an air transporter permit, please contact Kodiak Refuge Headquarters at our toll-free number (888)-408-3514. 

    Trapping permits are required for all trapping on the refuge and may be obtained in person at the refuge headquarters.

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  • Private Land Permits

    Know before you go! Kodiak Refuge shares boundaries with private and state land owners, and privately owned parcels can be found within the Refuge. Please respect private land and obtain any necessary permits in advance of your trip. Find out more about land ownership status on our maps page, and contact Alaska Native Corporations for land use permits and more information:

    Afognak Native Corporation
    Akhiok-Kaguyak Native Corporation
    Koniag Native Corporation
    Old Harbor Native Corporation