Jobs in Kodiak, Alaska
Kodiak is the largest of seven townships on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. It is a vital transport hub, with all sea and air traffic between the island and the rest of the world passing through the city’s ports.
Kodiak was originally home to the Alutiiq people, an indigenous Alaskan tribe who survived on the salmon, halibut, and whale that live in the waters around Kodiak Island.
These native people called their home “Kadiak,” their word for island, and lived there peacefully for more than 7,000 years before white settlers arrived. These early settlers came from Russia in the 18th century. Led by fur trapper Alexander Baranov, the newcomers almost hunted the local sea otters into extinction for their pelts. The Alutiiq resisted the arrival of the Russians, believing them to be disrespectful of their land, its creatures, and their culture. The conflict resulted in wars which raged in Kodiak for more than 150 years.
From this rocky beginning, Kodiak grew to become a key commercial fishing port. Its waters are rich with salmon and halibut. Local salmon farms and processing centers provide opportunities for the seasonal workers that regularly pass through Alaska, while stream and river fishing holes and charter fishing excursions keep the amateur anglers happy.
Kodiak’s fishing roots are celebrated each year with the Kodiak Crab Festival. This three-day event, which coincides with Memorial Day weekend, is the highlight of Kodiak’s social calendar. There are traditional carnival rides and games, and a kayak race and marathons for the most athletic attendees.
But Kodiak’s sea life is just the tip of the town’s ecological iceberg. Creatures like black tailed deer, muskrats, beavers, and mountain goats are not native to Kodiak, but were introduced during the reign of Theodore Roosevelt. They flourished on the island, enjoying the relative safety of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. There are no roads to the sanctuary, which spans some 2491 miles, but tourists can reach it by boat or floatplane.
Hunters aren’t forgotten in Kodiak though. There are plenty of areas where shooters can search for local game, including elks, mountain goats, deer, and the famous Kodiak bears. However as Kodiak is such an unspoiled paradise, hunters and anglers must adhere to strict laws. These regulations are posted in all city hotels and many local businesses. Fishing and hunting licenses are also available at most Kodiak sporting goods stores and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.
Kodiak doesn’t have an extensive range of accommodation options, but its hotels, bed and breakfasts, long-term vacation rentals, and campgrounds should offer enough choice for most travelers. The city’s hotels aren’t especially luxurious, but they do have convenient locations on their side. The warm hospitality of Kodiak’s bed and breakfasts helps to make up for their often remote locations. The city’s campgrounds are also located away from the heart of the city, but many visitors think this isolation is part of their charm!
Remember to pack your thermal underwear when you set off for Kodiak, as its subpolar oceanic weather is much cooler than other Alaskan cities. The winters are chilly and long, while the summers are relatively mild. Rain is also relentless, although you’ll have more chance of fine weather when visiting Kodiak mid-year.
Kodiak’s island location isolates it from the mainland, but the coastal town is accessible by air and sea. Kodiak isn’t visited by the major cruise lines, but the Alaska Marine Highway ferry service helps seafaring travelers reach the town. Its ship called the M/V Tustumena travels between Kodiak and the Kenai Peninsula towns of Seward and Homer. Local airlines, air taxis, and floatplanes also regularly fly to Kodiak.