Lake Bay, Esther Island

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Lake Bay, Esther Island

by | May 23, 2020

Lake Bay is an estuary on the south coast of Esther Island, in Prince William Sound, that extends southeast for 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to Wells Passage, about 22 miles (35.5 km) east Whittier, Alaska. Esther Island was named in 1794 by Captain George Vancouver, of the Royal Navy, and is shown on Vancouver’s chart but is not mentioned in the text.

Esther Island is uninhabited except for about 30 residents operating the Wally Noerenberg Salmon Hatchery. The salmon hatchery is among the world’s largest, and one of five hatcheries owned and operated by the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC). The hatchery raises pink, chum, and coho salmon.

During the 1970’s salmon runs were in decline throughout the state, and the hatchery system was legislated in 1976 to protect the fisheries from cyclical weaknesses in wild salmon returns. Today, five regional aquaculture associations from Southeast Alaska to Kodiak produce salmon via the wild salmon enhancement program for the common property fisheries. Read more here and here. Explore more of Lake Bay here:

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