Little Port Walter, Baranof Island

Little Port Walter, Baranof Island

by | Mar 18, 2019

Little Port Walter is a bay and research facility south of Port Walter and 9 miles (14.5 km) north of Port Alexander, on the south coast of Baranof Island, Alaska. The name was first used by local fishermen and published in 1925 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as “Inner Port Walter”, and in 1927 as “Little Port Walter”.

Little Port Walter was the home of a herring saltery in the early 1900s and the ruins can still be seen. The saltery supported a small community but since 1934 has been replaced by a research facility of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Little Port Walter has maintained an official daily weather record for NOAA’s Weather Service since 1936. It is one of the wettest recording stations in North America, averaging 240 inches (609 cm) of precipitation annually.

Little Port Walter is the oldest year around biological research station in Alaska. The station is on U.S. Forest Service land in the Tongass National Forest and is accessible only by boat or seaplane. The facility is in an estuarine environment adjacent to Chatham Strait near the open Gulf of Alaska. There are numerous nearby lakes and streams which are available for salmonid experimentation and research. Facilities include an experimental hatchery and an array of fresh and saltwater floating raceways and net-pens served by a controlled water source capable of delivering 2 cubic feet per second (57 l/s). Chinook salmon from three distinct genetic lines, chum salmon, pink salmon, and steelhead trout, are the principal species under study. Read more here and here. Explore more of Little Port Walter here:

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