Karluk, Kodiak Island

Karluk is a small historical fishing community located at the mouth of the Karluk River on the west coast of Kodiak Island, about 88 air miles (142 km) southwest of Kodiak and 301 miles (485 km) southwest of Anchorage. The Ascension of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church in Karluk was built in 1888.

The mouth of the Karluk River is thought to have been inhabited for more than 7,000 years. Russian hunters established a trading post here in 1786. At that time, the village was located on both sides of the Karluk River, in the area of Karluk Lagoon. Karluk quickly became known for having one of the greatest salmon streams in the world, and in the 1880s and 1890s, it wasn’t rare to catch 40,000 sockeye in a single beach seine.

In 1882, the Karluk Packing Company opened the first cannery on Kodiak Island on Karluk Spit. In 1890, Karluk had 1,123 residents, making it the 3rd largest community in Alaska, narrowly behind Juneau with 1,253 and Sitka with 1,190. In the early 1900s, more canneries were constructed by the Alaska Packers Association, however, in 1911 their operations were moved to Larsen Bay. Overfishing of the area forced the remaining canneries to close in the late 1930s. Read more here and here. Download or open the CoastView app to explore more of Karluk and Karkuk Lagoon here: