Karluk River
General Information

The "Ordinary High Water Mark"

graphic showing ordinary high and low water marks The Ordinary High Water Mark can usually be identified by the vegetation line along the bank or shore, or by other distinctive signs. It is defined as the mark along the bank or shore where the presence and action of water are so common and usual as to leave a natural line impressed on the bank or shore. That line may be indicated by erosion, shelving, changes in soil characteristics, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, or other distinctive physical characteristics.

Run Timing for Salmon and Steelhead

Run timing for adult salmon returning to freshwater to spawn will impact angler success.
Approximate run timing for Afognak and Shuyak islands:

  • King Salmon — (There are no chinook on Afognak or Shuyak islands)
  • Red Salmon — June 10 to August 1
  • Pink Salmon — July 20 to August 20
  • Silver Salmon — early-August to early-September
  • Steelhead — mid to late October


The Alaska Department of Fish and Game sponsors the Sport Fish Information Line in Kodiak at (907) 486-5176 or (907) 267-2510 in Anchorage. The line is updated weekly May to October.

Anglers can obtain escapement counts for the Litnik on Afognak islands by calling the Sport Fish Information Line at (907) 486-5176 or (907) 267-2510 in Anchorage. The line is updated weekly May to October with current sport fishery information

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game publishes sport fishing regulations for the Afognak and Shuyak islands in the Sport Fishing Regulations Summary for Kodiak Island and Southwest Alaska. Contact either of the following ADG&G offices to obtain a copy of these regulations:

Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game
351 Research Court
Kodiak, Alaska 99615
(907) 486-1880


Alaska Department of Fish & Game
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99518
(907) 267-2218

Field Tips

Photo of a bear Be advised that you are in bear country. In most cases, bears are not a threat, but they deserve your respect and attention. Before traveling in bear country, pick up the brochure "Bear Facts" from any Department of Fish and Game office. There are two key regulations regarding human/bear interactions in Alaska. The first prohibits feeding bears or leaving garbage that attracts them (5 MC 92.230). The other sets the guidelines for taking bear in defense of your life and property (5 MC 92.410). State law allows a bear to be shot in self-defense if: ( 1 ) you did not provoke the attack by an unreasonable invasion of the bear's habitat; (2) the problem was not caused by negligent storage of food, garbage, or other attractive nuisance; and (3) there is no alternative. If a bear is killed, the hide and skull must be salvaged, and the incident must be immediately reported to the authorities.

It is recommended that river visitors carry suitable containers to dispose of human waste, since there are no facilities along the river.

Afognak Island Land Status

There are a number of landowners on Afognak Island: Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska State Parks, private individuals and corporations. User fees may be required to use privately owned lands. Shuyak Island is wholly owned by the State and managed as Shuyak Island State Park. Be sure to get permission from the appropriate landowner before you begin your trip.

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge

The Refuge is responsible for managing all lands and easements within its boundary. For information regarding Refuge regulations or easements, contact:

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
1390 Buskin River Road
Kodiak, Alaska 99615 phone (907) 487-2600
Gary Wheeler, Refuge Manager

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management manages all other easements. For information on easements outside the Refuge boundary, contact:

Bureau Of Land Management
Anchorage District Office
6881 Abbott Loop Road
Anchorage, AK 99507 phone (907) 267- 1248

Department of Natural Resources

For additional public use information contact:

Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Public Information Center
550 W 7th Ave, Suite 1260
Anchorage, AK 99501-3557 phone (907) 269-8400