National Wildlife Refuge
|1390 Buskin River Road
Kodiak, AK 99615
Phone Number: 907-487-2600
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Over 3000 Kodiak brown bear roam the rugged coastline of this Refuge|
Through refuge events, children's activities called F.U.N. Programs (Families Understanding Nature), school programs, interpretive talks and community events, Kodiak Refuge strives to educate and inform the public about wildlife and our natural resources. During the school year, Kodiak Refuge reaches more than 850 school children, teaching about everything from fungus and trees to brown bears. Bi-monthly F.U.N. programs in the winter months and weekly summer programs reach 400 youth per year. Environmental education is also brought to the community during numerous refuge and community festivals and events: Crab Fest, Whale Fest, Pink Salmon Derby, and ComFish, to name a few.
The Kodiak Summer Science and Salmon Camp, established in 1996, is the largest science-based camp in Alaska. In 2002 the camp was honored as one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's top five environmental education programs. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is very proud of its summer program; a hands-on, science-based camp, stressing the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation and using salmon as a means to educate and motivate Kodiak youth of all ages. In addition to eight week-long sessions in the City of Kodiak, Salmon Camp offers sessions in all six remote Kodiak Island villages.
The refuge's 11 lakes and 117 salmon streams are, at various times through the summer and fall, host to all five North American species of Pacific salmon. In fact, some savvy anglers consider Kodiak the best place to attempt a salmon "grand slam," catching one of each of the five species in a single day! In addition to salmon; steelhead, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char add to the refuge's reputation as an angler's paradise!
To many people, hunting on Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge means only one thing: the Kodiak brown bear, Ursus arctos middendorffi, the largest in the world. Hunting for these bears is restricted, and the price of a guided hunt can be prohibitive, but sportsmen and women from all over the world consider a hunt for Kodiak's great bruins to be the adventure of a lifetime. Also popular are the abundant Sitka black-tailed deer, a non-native species that has thrived on the island. Bag limits for these small deer are generous, and many hunters from mainland Alaska would think an autumn incomplete without a deer hunt on the "emerald isle."
The refuge maintains several remote public-use cabins for those who want to spend a little time looking for refuge wildlife without having to pack in tents and set up camp. Many people visit Kodiak hoping to see its famous bears (and most of the archipelago's approximately 3000 bruins do roam refuge lands). Other than the bears; red foxes, river otters, short-tailed weasels, little brown bats and tundra voles are the only mammals native to the refuge. However, in addition to the Sitka black-tailed deer mentioned above, Roosevelt elk, muskrat, mountain goats and snowshoe hares were introduced to the islands in the 1920s.
Stunning scenery, and abundant wildlife, provide the photographer with many reasons to carry plenty of film on a trip to Kodiak Refuge. In addition to its mammals, the refuge, which is accessible only by boat or airplane, is home to more than 600 pairs of bald eagles, and hosts some 237 species of birds annually.
Refuge lands are open to the public at all times. During winter, the visitor center is open weekdays between 8 AM and 4:30 PM. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the center is open Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 7 PM and 12 PM - 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
The refuge manages public use easements on Native-owned land in several areas. Use of easement lands within the Karluk drainage requires a free permit, available on-line or from the refuge. Lands along the Karluk River are subject to a limited entry period from June 10 to July 15 annually, corresponding to the peak of the king salmon season. These limited entry permits are available by applying on-line for an annual lottery. Visitors should inquire at the refuge for current information on fees for other easement lands.
Public Use Cabin reservations are available by applying for a quarterly lottery, and on a "first come, first served" basis thereafter. Cabin reservations cost $30.00 per night.
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