The second-largest island in the Kodiak Archipelago, Afognak Island, with its forested landscape and protected coastal waters, is abundant in wildlife and is a popular destination for fishing, wildlife viewing or quiet retreats.
About Afognak Island
For the most part, Afognak Island is pure Alaska wilderness — home to Kodiak brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer and Roosevelt elk. Orcas, gray whales, humpbacks, finbacks and minke whales populate its waters. Offshore, sea lions, seals and sea otters are common sights while river otter, beaver, fox, marten and ermine make their home in the coastal habitats as well.
Originally a traditional Alutiiq village made up of a series of settlements along the beach, the community of Afognak was nearly destroyed by the Good Friday earthquake of 1964. A new community known as Port Lions was constructed on the northeast coast of Kodiak Island, and the residents of Afognak relocated permanently.
Things to do
Seasonal residents arrive during the summer for subsistence fishing and hunting or for logging. But for visitors, the main attraction is surely fishing with the numerous streams and lakes swimming with red, pink and silver salmon along with rainbow, steelhead and Dolly Varden. Offshore saltwater fishing is also very good for halibut, lingcod, sea bass, flounder, greenling and red snapper. Visitors can also enjoy wilderness hiking, beachcombing, and birding or rent one of four public-use cabins in either Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge or Afognak Island State Park as the ultimate escape into this pristine environment. There are also small logging camps and fishing lodges for those looking for a more remote experience.
Afognak Island State Fishing Lodges
Fishing lodges, offering accommodations, charter fishing opportunities for saltwater species and meals, are located in Seal Bay.
Afognak Island features excellent salmon spawning habitat and thus a healthy population of Kodiak brown bears. Some of the best bear viewing is the Pauls and Laura lakes system. Red salmon enter Pauls Lake in mid-June and silvers enter during August and bears may be encountered in either lake throughout the summer.
There are two public-use cabins in Afognak Island State, both restored U.S. Forest Service cabins
that are reached by float plane from the city of Kodiak. One is on the south shore of Pillar Lake and the other is at Laura Lake, east of Perenosa Bay on the northern end of Afognak Island. There are also two more public-use cabins on the island maintained and reserved by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.
Streams on Afognak Island support populations of rainbow and Dolly Varden trout as well as spawning steelhead, sockeye, pink and silver salmon. Sockeye salmon run from June to mid-July; pinks from mid-July throughout August; and silvers [Coho] from late-July through mid-late September on the island.