Home Rule City
in the Kodiak Island Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (koh' dee ack); includes Shoonaq'
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
Geography and Climate
- Kodiak is located near the northwestern tip of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. Kodiak Island (aka: "the emerald isle") is the largest island in Alaska and is the second largest island in the US. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 1.9 million acres on Kodiak and Afognak Islands. It is 252 air miles south of Anchorage (a 45-minute flight) and is a 4-hour flight from Seattle.
- The climate of the Kodiak Islands has a strong marine influence. There is little to no freezing weather, moderate precipitation, occasional high winds, and frequent cloud cover and fog. Severe storms are common from December through February. Annual rainfall averages 67 inches, and annual snowfall averages 78 inches. January temperatures range from 14 to 46 °F; July temperatures vary from 39 to 76 °F.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The island has been inhabited for the past 8,000 years. The first non-Native contacts were in 1763 by Russian Stephen Glotov and in 1792 by Alexander Baranov, a Russian fur trapper. Sea otter pelts were the primary incentive for Russian exploration, and a settlement was established at Chiniak Bay, the site of present-day Kodiak. At that time, there were over 6,500 Sugpiaqs (Koniags) in the area and the island was called "Kikhtak." It later was known as "Kadiak," the Inuit word for island. Kodiak became the first capital of Russian Alaska, and Russian colonization had a devastating effect on the local Native population. By the time Alaska became a U.S. territory in 1867, the Koniag-region Eskimos had almost disappeared as a viable culture. Alutiiq (Russian-Aleut) is the present-day Native language. Sea otter fur harvesting was the major commercial enterprise and eventually led to the near extinction of the species. However, in 1882 a fish cannery opened at the Karluk spit. This sparked the development of commercial fishing in the area. The Town of Kodiak was incorporated in 1940. During the Aleutian Campaign of World War II, the Navy and the Army built bases on the island. Fort Abercrombie was constructed in 1939 and later became the first secret radar installation in Alaska. Development continued, and the 1960s brought growth in commercial fisheries and fish processing. The 1964 earthquake and subsequent tidal wave virtually leveled downtown Kodiak. The fishing fleet, processing plant, canneries, and 158 homes were destroyed - $30 million in damage. The infrastructure was rebuilt, and, by 1968, Kodiak had become the largest fishing port in the U.S. in terms of dollar value. The Magnusson Act in 1976 extended the U.S. jurisdiction of marine resources to 200 miles offshore, which reduced competition from the foreign fleet and, over time, allowed Kodiak to develop a groundfish processing industry.
- The local culture surrounds commercial and subsistence fishing activities. The US Coast Guard comprises a significant portion of the community, and there is a large seasonal population. Kodiak is primarily non-Native, and the majority of the Native population are Alutiiq. Filipinos are also a large subculture in Kodiak. A Russian Orthodox church seminary is based in Kodiak, one of two existing seminaries in the U.S. The Shoonaq' Tribe of Kodiak was federally recognized in January 2001. Kodiak Collage, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, is located in the City of Kodiak.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Afognak
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewar, Police, Fire/EMS, Airport, Harbor/Cargo Pier, Library, Museum, Teen Center, Roads, Parks & Recreation, Building Inspection, Animal Control, Ambulance, Jail (State Contract), Large Vessel Lift
- Kodiak is accessible by air and sea. The state-owned Kodiak airport has three asphalt runways. Kodiak Municipal Airport offers another shorter, paved runway for small aircraft. Two passenger airlines serve Kodiak with several daily flights to and from Anchorage, and a number of air taxi services provide flights to five remote villages only accessible by boat or aircraft. City-owned seaplane bases at Trident Basin and Lilly Lake accommodate floatplane traffic. The Alaska Marine Highway System operates a ferry service between Kodiak and Homer, as well as other ports as far west as Dutch Harbor. The Port of Kodiak includes 2 boat harbors with 600 boat slips up to 160 feet in length. Three deep-draft piers accommodate ferries, cruise ships, container ships, military vessels and a variety of large commercial fishing vessels. Boat launch ramps and 150 ton vessel lift are also available. The City of Kodiak opened a shipyard in 2010. Vessels up to 42 feet by 180 feet and 660 tons can be lifted for maintenance and rebuild. A breakwater on Near Island provides another 60 acres of mooring space at St. Herman Harbor. Approximately 140 miles of state roads connect island communities on the east side of the island.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District