LARSEN BAY (Uyaqsaq)

34  (

57.5400° N, 153.9786° W (

60 Miles SW of Kodiak, 283 Miles SW of Anchorage 
Land Area: 5.4 square miles
Water Area: 2.2 square miles 

Larsen Bay is located inside Uyak Bay, a narrow fjord on the southwest end of Kodiak Island. Larsen Bay is surrounded by the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. The landscape is dominated by scattered birch, cottonwood, and alder trees, with some locally heavy stands. High brush of alder and willow predominates with the tree growth. There is no Sitka spruce in the western part of Kodiak Island. There are small areas of wetlands, especially at the head of the bay.

History & Culture

The area of Larsen Bay has been inhabited for over 2,000 years by Sugpiaq/Alutiiq peoples. Russian fur traders frequented the area in the mid-1700s, and the Bay was named by Russians for Peter Larsen, an Unga Island furrier, hunter, and guide. A tannery operated in Uyak Bay in the 1800s. The influence of Russian fur traders is apparent in the Russian Orthodox churches and cemeteries, and Russian heritage is an important aspect of the identity of the predominately Alutiiq community. The area has a rich archaeological history. In the 1930s, Ales Hrdlicka removed 756 human remains from Larsen Bay’s cemetery, despite the objections from the community, and took them to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Hrdlicka was the curator of the U.S. Museum of Natural History at the time, and has since been recognized as disrespectful and dismissive of Native peoples. The Larsen Bay Tribal Council formally requested the return of the remains in 1987, and after negotiations and some resistance from the Smithsonian, the remains were returned to Larsen Bay in 1991 and reburied. During the summer months, the population of Larsen Bay more than doubles as the commercial salmon fishery gets underway. The vast majority of cannery employees are non-village residents. Larsen Bay is a hub of commercial and sport fishing activity on Kodiak’s west coast. Six lodges host visitors and provide a tourist guide service, although most are not owned by village residents. Subsistence is a central way of life to many residents, both for food security and for cultural well-being.

Governance & Contact 

City of Larsen Bay
2nd class city, incorporated in 1974
7 member City Council

Native Village of Larsen Bay
7 members of Tribal Council
PO Box 50, Larsen Bay, AK 99624

The City of Larsen Bay provides electricity, water, sewer, road maintenance for the 3.5 miles of gravel roadway, and solid waste disposal. A small hydroelectric plant located about a mile from the community generates electricity. The Larsen Bay Tribal Council serves as the tribal government for Alaska Native residents of Larsen Bay. The Council administers numerous grants, and owns the Tribal farm, Marlene’s Garden, which has 2 hoop houses and a hydroponics operation. Kodiak Area Native Association provides health services and Village Public Safety Officer through a contract with the Tribal Council.

Demographics – Population by Sex, Age, and Ethnicity (from left to right)