Kodiak and Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Management Area
Fishing Management - Ayakulik (Red) River

The Ayakulik River, located on the south end of Kodiak Island approximately 85 air miles from Kodiak city, supports fisheries targeting coho, sockeye salmon and steelhead. Most of the angler effort for sockeye salmon occurs during June through early August, while effort on coho salmon and steelhead occurs in late August through September. All sport fisheries are generally concentrated in the river section approximately 11.5 miles in length between the confluence of the Ayakulik and Red rivers (Bare Creek) and the Ayakulik Lagoon. All but the last river mile in this section is located within the boundaries of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR). The lower mile is privately owned, predominately by the Ayakulik Native corporation.

The Ayakulik is the largest river system on Kodiak Island, flowing 28 miles from the headwaters to the river mouth where it drains into the Gulf of Alaska. Anglers generally gain access to the Ayakulik River by float-equipped aircraft. The major access location on the upper Ayakulik River is at its confluence with Bare Creek, from which arriving anglers either float downstream to fish before exiting the fishery at Ayakulik Lagoon, or establish a camp in the vicinity for the duration of their stay. If necessary, the 11.5 mile float trip from Bare Creek to the lagoon can be completed in less than 4 hours, however, float plane access to the lower parts of the river can be limited depending on conditions. Planning a trip to the Ayakulik River must include an awareness that the depth and length of the lagoon changes from year to year, sometimes making it difficult or impossible for rafters to exit from this location. On these occasions some anglers have resorted to using a helicopter to exit the river, especially when low water at the lagoon prevents floatplanes from landing. Visitors should check with Kodiak air taxi operators on the status of the lagoon while planning travel logistics for their trip.