Access to Resources on Kodiak Island

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Within the Kodiak archipelago, the eligibility and access to the wild resources is varied and you must qualify to participate in an activity before doing it.  All hunting, fishing, and gathering activities fall under the management of the state or federal governments, even the resources on private or corporation lands.  State and federal hunting, fishing, and gathering regulations establish which fish, animals, and plants are available to harvest,  who can harvest them, when and how they can be harvested, where they can be harvested, and how many can be harvested.

Under federal and state management, the seasons, harvest limits, methods and means, permitting, and reporting requirements for every activity and species can vary widely so before heading out always check with federal and state regulations to determine the licensing and permitting requirements.  Pay careful attention to closed waters, seasons, limits, and other rules for the area where you plan on hunting, fishing, or gathering other wild resources.

Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Licenses 

Check the state and federal hunting and fishing  regulations booklets carefully for information about license requirements and to make sure the area you plan to fish or hunt in is open to you.  It is important to note that no one may fish or harvest game or fur animals without first getting a State of Alaska fishing, hunting, or trapping license and any associated tags, permits, or harvest tickets required for specific fishing or hunting activities.  The State of Alaska hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses can be purchased at a number of vendors in Kodiak City or can be purchased online through the Alaska Fish and Game Online Store.

Hunting Eligiblity

Hunting within the Kodiak archipelago is regulated via harvest tickets, and drawing and registration hunts.  Drawing and registration hunts are available to residents and nonresidents.  Drawing hunts are awarded by a lottery and entering require an application fee.  Typically, you can apply for drawing hunts during the months of November and December each year.  Registration are not usually limited to a number of permits but seasons are closed by emergency order when a harvest goal is met.  Sometimes registrations hunts are limited  to a first-come, first-served basis.   More information about drawing hunts and registration hunts can be found on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website page – Drawing Hunts and  Registration Hunts.

Fishing Eligibility 

On Kodiak there are three different types of fishing activities: subsistence, commercial, and sport fishing.  While sport fishing is open to most individuals, commercial and subsistence fisheries are limited to certain types of gear, specific areas, or to Alaska residents.  In regard fishing, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains the chart,  “What kind of fishery do you qualify for?” to help you determine which different fisheries you can participate in.  Once you determine the kind of fisheries you are eligible for, then make sure you review the regulations for the specific areas you would like to fish and the species you want to catch. The seasons, harvest limits, methods and means, permitting, and reporting requirements vary widely.  Kodiak’s fisheries are managed by agencies of the federal government, agencies of the state government, or by a cooperative arrangement between federal and state agencies.

Marine Mammal Hunting Eligibility

Under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, only Alaska Natives who live on the coast of the North Pacific Ocean or the Arctic Ocean may harvest marine mammals for subsistence purposes.

Land Ownership 

Over the last 40 years, many changes in land ownership and land management have occurred on Kodiak Island. As a result, areas that were previously open to the public for use, now require special permissions for access. Some of these areas may have use restrictions or may even be no longer available for public use. These changes in land ownership and management have brought about problems of unauthorized land use and resources. Of course, most unauthorized land and resource use has been inadvertent due to a lack of knowledge and understanding about land ownership and resource use.

Kodiak Island Surface Owner Identification (click to enlarge image)

Kodiak Island Surface Owner Identification (click to enlarge image)

Land on Kodiak Island is owned by the federal government, the state government, the municipal government, or by a private individual or corporation. The land that owned by a government is usually managed by an agency of the government.  For example, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is owned by the federal government and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The agency or the corporation that owns the land  typically designates a land manager or contact person to answer questions or deal with other public matters involving the use of the land.  Each land ownership type has different provisions to provide access to public lands and waters. Before taking a trip, learn who owns the land and how you can legally use or cross it.

All land owned by Alaska Native corporations is private land and, except  when noted, it is  is closed to public use.  Like other privately owned land, individuals can get permissions  (or permits) from the landowner to use the land.  Since some of the Alaska Native corporation lands are open to hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses, it is important to first speak with a Corporation land manager to get permission to access the land before venturing onto it.  Users should always obey all signs or barricades placed on private land.

The Afognak Native Corporation, Natives of Kodiak, Ouzinkie Native CorporationKoniag, Inc., Leisnoi, Inc.Old Harbor Native Corporation, and Akhiok-Kaguyak, Inc. all manage and protect their traditional lands and, through land use permits,  provide opportunities for shareholders and others to utilize their lands responsibly. Any of the general public who wishes to access Alaska Native Corporation lands are required to obtain a land use permit in advance.  Land use permits for Afognak Native Corporation, Natives of Kodiak, Inc., and the Ouzinkie Native Corporation lands are administered through the Joint Land Use Permit System.  The general public wishing to access Leisnoi, Inc. lands to hunt, fish, recreate, and other purposes must obtain a Land Use and Firewood Gathering Permit and Waiver from Leisnoi, Inc.  The Old Harbor Native Corporation Land Use Policy states that individuals who wish to use OHNC lands for any reason must first first apply, and then meet the terms of the application and pay a fee to the corporation before accessing OHNC lands.

Leisnoi Corporation

Afognak Native CorporationAkhiok-Kaguyak Inc Old Harbor Native CorporationNatives of KodiakOuzinkie Native CorporationKonaig Corporation