Skip to main content

Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island (kō´dēăk´), 5,363 sq mi (13,890 sq km), c.100 mi (160 km) long and 10–60 mi (16–96 km) wide, off S Alaska, separated from the Alaska Peninsula by Shelikof Strait. Alaska's largest island, Kodiak is mountainous and heavily forested in the north and east; the native grasses in the south offer good pasturage for cattle and sheep. The island has many ice-free, deeply penetrating bays that provide sheltered anchorages and transportation routes. The Kodiak bear and the Kodiak king crab are native to the island. Most of the island is a national wildlife refuge. In 1912 the eruption of Mt. Katmai on the mainland blanketed the island with volcanic ash, causing widespread destruction and loss of life (see Katmai National Park and Preserve). Explored in 1763 by Russian fur trader Stepan Glotov, the island was the scene of the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska, founded by Grigori Shelekhov, a fur trader, on Three Saints Bay in 1784. The settlement was moved to Kodiak village in 1792 and became the center of Russian fur trading. The largest town on the island is Kodiak (1990 pop. 6,365). Salmon fishing is a major occupation; the Karluk River is famous for its salmon run. Livestock farms, numerous canneries, and some copper mining are also prevalent.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Kodiak Island." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 20 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Kodiak Island." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (July 20, 2018).

"Kodiak Island." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 20, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.