Tutka Bay Lagoon, Kachemak Bay State Park

Tutka Bay Lagoon, Kachemak Bay State Park

by | Feb 14, 2023

Tutka Bay Lagoon is the site of a fish hatchery located about 4 miles (6.5 km) inside and on the southern shore of Tutka Bay in Kachemak Bay State Park, about 10 miles (16 km) east of Seldovia and 15 miles (24 km) south-southeast of Homer, Alaska. Kachemak Bay is considered a critical habitat area with relatively high biodiversity. Kachemak Bay State Park is 400,000 acres (161,943 ha) of mostly wilderness on the southern Kenai Peninsula. The park has no road access and visitors normally fly in or travel by boat from Homer.

Tutka Bay Lagoon is well-protected and consists of two semi-enclosed basins. The northern basin is about 27 acres (11 ha) and has depths up to 27 feet (8 m), and the southern basin has mostly filled in with sediments creating a salt marsh of about 37 acres (15 ha). The sediments were deposited by an unnamed stream that starts from an elevation of about 2500 feet (760 m) in the Kenai Mountains and flows generally northwest for 8 miles (13 km) to the lagoon. The lagoon is connected to Tutka Bay by a tidal creek about 0.3 miles (0.5 km) long but is not navigable at low tide. The channel is obstructed by a rock and a shallow delta plain that at low tide extends about 1300 feet (400 m) into Tutka Bay.

Tutka Bay Lagoon Hatchery is situated at the mouth of the stream at the head of the southern basin. The facility is owned by the State of Alaska and operated by the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association. The hatchery was constructed in 1976 and expanded in 1991. The primary production is pink salmon, which have been released every year from 1976 to 2004, and then again from 2011 to the present. About 100 million pink salmon fry are reared in net pens in the northern basin for about 2 months. The fry imprint in the net pens which results in about 3 million adult pink salmon returning to the lagoon each year. The hatchery is permitted by the State of Alaska to incubate 125 million pink salmon eggs annually. Read more here and here. Explore more of Tutka Bay Lagoon 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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