Kukak Cannery, Katmai National Park and Preserve

Kukak Cannery, Katmai National Park and Preserve

by | Jan 21, 2023

Kukak Bay is the site of a historical razor clam cannery on the western shore of Shelikof Strait, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 132 miles (212 km) southwest of Homer and 77 miles (124 km) northwest of Kodiak, Alaska. The bay extends southwest into the Alaska Peninsula for about 10 miles (16 km) from Kukak Point and is the estuary for several glacier-fed rivers that cascade from the Aleutian Range including the Aguchik River that flows from an unnamed glacier on the southern flank of Snowy Mountain. The name ‘Kukak’ is from the Aleut language and was originally recorded by early Russian explorers as ‘Guba Kukak’.

The Kukak razor clam cannery is located in a small embayment across from the northern tip of Aguligik Island near the entrance to Kukak Bay. The cannery operated intermittently from 1922 to 1951. The razor clams were dug from a beach 25 miles (40 km) to the north at Swikshak, about a 5-hour boat trip. Kukak was a small self-contained industrial site where workers processed clams from April to September. A fire destroyed most of the complex in 1936 but it continued operating until 1951.

The cannery property formally became part of Katmai National Monument in 1931 and was designated an archaeological historic district in Katmai National Park and Preserve in 2003. Remains of the cannery can still be found, but it is deteriorating due to the weather. Read more here and here. Explore more of Kukak Bay here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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