Uganik Fisheries Cannery, Northeast Arm

Uganik Fisheries Cannery, Northeast Arm

by | May 24, 2019

The abandoned Uganik Fisheries cannery is on the north shore of Northeast Arm, about 1.3 miles (2 km) southeast of Starr Point, in Uganik Bay, Alaska. Uganik Bay extends southeast for 8.5 miles (14 km) on the north coast of Kodiak Island. Northeast Arm is a descriptive name given by Lieutenant Commander J.F. Moser of the U.S. Navy on the Bureau of Fisheries steamer Albatross in 1897.

In 1922, an independent group of pioneer Alaskans formed a company called the Kodiak Fishing and Packing Company and processed herring at a saltery in Uganik Bay. This venture was a failure and the group lost their entire investment. The following year they were granted a permit to pack salmon, and they built a cannery in Uganik Bay. The permit allowed the company to fish salmon in Uganik, Terror, and Viekoda Bays and in Shelikof Strait between Cape Ugat and Raspberry Strait. The company employed local residents to provide most of the labor for constructing the cannery, fishing, and processing the catch.

In 1930, the company changed names to Uganik Fisheries and began using controversial fish traps to increase yield, and more non-residents were brought in to process the catch. By 1944, 52% of the fish were caught in purse seines, 42% by traps, and 6% with gill nets. As red salmon populations declined, more pink salmon had to be caught to make a profit. In 1945, the San Juan Fishing and Packing Company, which owned another cannery further south in Northeast Arm, purchased Uganik Fisheries for the traps and other fishing gear but idled the cannery. Read more here and here. Explore more of Uganik Fisheries here:

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