Larsen Bay

Region: Southwest

An Aleut man in traditional hat and parka

Perched deep inside Uyak Bay, a narrow fjord 60 miles southwest of the city of Kodiak, Larsen Bay boasts a scenic location next to some of the best fishing grounds in the Kodiak Archipeligo.

About Larsen Bay

Named for Peter Larsen, an Unga Island furrier, hunter and guide, the community is called Uyak by the Aleut people who have resided here for 2,000 years. The village drew national attention in 1991 when the Smithsonian Institution returned the remains of 756 Alutiiq Natives. Interred in a mass grave, the burial marked the largest repatriation of Native remains ever conducted by the Smithsonian. Like many Kodiak Island communities, the Russian influence of fur traders in the late 1700s and early 1800s can also be seen throughout Larsen Bay in Russian Orthodox churches and cemeteries.

Things to do

Larsen Bay is surrounded by Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, the 2,812-square-mile preserve that covers two-thirds of Kodiak Island. The refuge's diverse habitat ranges from rugged mountains and alpine meadows to wetlands, spruce forest and grassland. Wildlife viewing is excellent in the refuge, and its most famous resident is the giant Kodiak brown bear. Lesser known but equally interesting is the birding – the refuge is home to more than 200 different species and 600 breeding pairs of bald eagles. Marine life is also plentiful, including seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea otters, whales and puffins. No roads enter the refuge, and no maintained trails lie within it, so the best way to view wildlife within the refuge is by chartered boat or plane.

Wildlife viewing aside, fishing is the main interest of most visitors to Larsen Bay. Excellent fishing lodges maintain a charter fleet that provides saltwater fishing opportunities within the protected bays and inlets near the village or on the open ocean for salmon, halibut, lingcod and rockfish. Rafts or even floatplanes are utilized for stream fishing for salmon, steelhead and Dolly Varden. Among the nearby stream fisheries is the Karluk River, world famous for its sockeye salmon and king salmon runs.