Steamboat Bay is an estuary on the north coast of Noyes Island, 122 miles (197 km) southeast of Sitka and 77 miles (124 km) west-northwest of Ketchikan, Alaska. The bay was named in 1923 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey after Steamboat Point a headland at the entrance to the bay. The name of the point was used locally by area navigators. Noyes Island is in the southwestern Gulf of Esquibel, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island.
The historical cannery at Steamboat Bay began operations around 1917 when the Noyes Island Packing Company started the mild curing of salmon and then expanded into a full salmon cannery. In the 1940’s, the plant underwent major growth and renovation under the ownership of the New England Fish Company to support the war effort. In 1959, the cannery shut down when Alaska became the 49th state of the United States, and fish traps were outlawed. Since then, there have been several owners who operated the facility as a fish packing and shipping site until the massive structure was eventually abandoned and left to the elements. In 2007, the cannery was converted into a luxury fishing resort.
Prior to statehood, fish traps and offshore fishing practices were causing excessive exploitation of salmon by fishermen. This became a geopolitical concern when data suggested that 71% of the pink salmon caught of Noyes Island were destined for Canadian natal streams. By 1957, the allocation and management of salmon resources passing through politically partitioned land and sea space in southeastern Alaska and northern British Columbia had become a major issue. Read more here and here. Explore more of Steamboat Bay here: