Hatcheries have been an important part of Alaska's fisheries for decades, releasing more than a billion fish each year into Alaskan waters. Read about Alaska's newest hatchery in Anchorage, which is expected to provide twice the production of the previous hatcheries when fully operational, and the stock assessment of Chinook Salmon fishery managers are doing to maintain one of the largest recreational fisheries for this species in the state of Alaska.

Success Stories

The William "Jack" Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery,Anchorage
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Sport Fish, just completed construction of the new William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage. This hatchery will use an energy saving re-circulating water system in which rainbow trout, Arctic gray ling, Arctic char, Chinook salmon, lake trout and coho salmon will be reared to fingerling, smolt, or catchable size in circular tanks in an enclosed facility.

The hatchery will produce millions of fish for release annually,at hundreds of locations throughout the state to improve, create and increase recreational angling opportunities. The previous two Anchorage hatcheries were responsible for stocking more than 200 lakes in South central and interior Alaska. Once the new hatchery is fully operational (in 2015), this number could double.

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Stock Assessment of Chinook Salmon Returns to the Kenai River,Kenai Peninsula
The Kenai River Chinook salmon sport fishery is the largest in the state. One issue fishery managers there are facing is the possibility that the in-river recreational harvest, coupled with harvest by the commercial fisheries in Cook Inlet marine waters and personal use fisheries in the Kenai River mouth, may exceed sustainable levels.

Most fishing on the Kenai River occurs over a relatively short period of time from May to July in the lower main stem of the river and is directed at returning Chinook salmon. The Kenai River supports two runs (an "early" and a "late" run) of Chinook salmon.The recreational fishery targeting these returns supports the largest and most economically important sport fishery in Alaska.During 1986 it was estimated that sport anglers participating in this fishery expended nearly $20 million. The fishery currently harvests up to 20,000 Chinook salmon and provides in excess of200,000 angler days of recreational fishing opportunity annually.Data derived from this stock assessment project is necessary to maintain sustained yield and fishing effort from this resource.

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