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Walrus Islands — State Game Sanctuary
Public Use and Access

Portions of Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary have restricted access requiring an Access Permit issued by ADF&G for entry. The Access Permit program administered by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game manages visitor access and activities on Round Island to prevent disturbance to the pacific walrus haulout on Round Island, as well as other marine mammals and marine seabirds. The goal of the access permit program is to provide the public with an opportunity to view and photograph pacific walrus and other wildlife, while minimizing impacts to these species and their habitats

Round Island

To protect sanctuary wildlife and other resources, access to Round Island and the waters within three nautical miles of the island has been restricted since 1989. Visitors and transporters must possess authorization from ADF&G in the form of an Access Permit for the day(s) they plan to visit Round Island (Alaska State Regulation – 5AAC 92.066).

  • Access is allowed only by Access Permit and when Sanctuary staff are present, usually between May 1 and August 15.
  • Aircraft access to the island is prohibited without approval from the ADF&G.
  • All vessels approaching the island must contact ADF&G Round Island staff via marine radio channel (MVHF Ch. 7) prior to 9:00 a.m. on the day of their visit and again prior to entering the restricted area.
  • Once in the area they are required to maintain a course through a designated corridor to Boat Cove on the northeast side of the island (Figure 2).
  • Pets are prohibited
  • Camping is allowed only in the designated campground.
  • Visitors shall remove all personal gear and garbage upon departure.
  • Camp sites at Round Island campground are available by permit during the following time periods.
    A - 1- 5 May H - 5-10 June O - 10-15 July
    B - 5 - 10 May I - 10 - 15 June P - 15 - 20 July
    C - 10 - 15 May J - 15 - 20 June Q - 20 - 25 July
    D - 15 - 20 May K - 20 - 25 June R - 25 - 31 July
    E - 20 - 25 May L - 25 - 30 June S - 31 July - 5 August
    F - 25 - 31 May M - 30 June - 5 July T - 5 - 10 August
    G - 31 May - 5 June N - 5 - 10 July U - 10-15 August

Further information on Round Island Access Permits is available on the Permits page or you may apply online or with a mail-in application through the the Licensing & Permits Round Island web page. You may also contact Round Island support staff at the address, telephone or e-mail listed on the "Walrus Islands SGS Contacts" page if you have any questions or need additional information.

Other Islands

Access to other portions of the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary does not require an Access Permit and is open to most public uses provided the activity does not damage refuge resources, disturb wildlife or disrupt existing public uses. Allowed activities generally include fishing, wildlife watching, hiking and camping. Other activities may require prior approval from ADF&G through issuance of a Special Areas Permit.

For current land status information, see the Walrus Islands Land Status Map (PDF 536 kB). You may also download the KML file which depicts the refuge area boundary.