Klawock River Hatchery

Klawock River Hatcheryklawock

Klawock River Hatchery was built in 1977-1978 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Rehabilitation and Enhancement Division (FRED) facility. Chum salmon and steelhead were first cultured in the late 1970’s.

Due to the IHN virus inherent to native sockeye in the Klawock Lake system, chum salmon production ceased and coho production started in 1980. Steelhead continued to be produced also. Klawock Hatchery continued production until 1993 when the FRED division dissolved and merged with the Commercial Fisheries Division.

The cities of Klawock and Craig operated the facility while the Prince of Wales Hatchery Association (POWHA) was being formed. In 1996 POWHA assumed operations with a permitted capacity of 5 million coho eggs, 5 million sockeye eggs and 50,000 steelhead eggs. Sockeye production ceased in 2005 and steelhead ceased in 2002.

POWHA struggled over the years to attain success and the possibility of closing the doors was realized. In 2011 the POWHA board of directors made several internally adjustments and in 2013 the largest return in hatchery history occurred. Unfortunately the revenue was not enough to sustain operations and the POWHA board approached SSRAA for financial help and asked SSRAA to take over the hatchery.

Between 2013 and 2016 POWHA continued to professionally operate Klawock Hatchery and see good returns in 2014, 2015 and 2016, primarily benefitting the troll fleet. At the October 2015 SSRAA board meeting the SSRAA board voted to assume Klawock Hatchery. On July 1, 2016 the Klawock River Hatchery was officially re-permitted under SSRAA.

SSRAA Drone Video – Klawock Lake (Video Credit: Allen Smith)