Parks Cannery, Uyak Bay

Parks Cannery, Uyak Bay

by | Jun 21, 2019

The Parks Cannery is located in Uyak Bay, on the west coast of Kodiak Island, about 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of Larsen Bay and 58 miles (94 km) southwest of Kodiak, Alaska. Uyak Bay extends south-southeast for 40 miles off Shelikof Strait. The Native name was recorded as the Bay of Oohiack in 1805. The name was given as “Zaliv Uyak” or “Uyak Bay” by Captain Mikhail Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy in 1852.

The cannery was started in 1934 and later operated as the Great Northern Packing Company. Salmon for the cannery came from controversial fish traps belonging to Ottar Hofstad at Cape Uyak and Cape Ugat, both on Shelikof Strait near the Karluk River. These fish traps intercepted salmon migrating back to the Karluk River, making them simultaneously very productive and the source of animosity from local purse seiners and beach seiners operating off the Karluk Spit. The traps were so efficient that on one day Hofstad’s traps would catch more fish than the 65 fishermen caught at Karluk.

In 1940, James Wilson Parks of Aberdeen, Washington bought the cannery and started the Parks Canning Company. The cannery continued to pack salmon intermittently until 1968. In 1970, the facility was bought by Whitney-Fidalgo Seafoods and packed salmon until 1983 when it was dismantled. Today the buildings are used by a hunting and fishing lodge. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Parks Cannery here:

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