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Good deal turns costly for Alaskan hatchery

It was in April last year when Alaska’s Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) acquired the Gunnuk Creek Hatchery. The association submitted the only bid (US$ 400,000) for the facility, which had been closed in 2014 with a debt to the state of about US$22 million. However, NSRAA general manager Steve Reifenstuhl explains that in hindsight the purchase was not the bargain it might have seemed.


July 27, 2018
By Quentin Dodd

NSRAA, a private non-profit, operating hatcheries from Petersburg to Haines, has had to undertake substantial work to get the operation up and running and ready for spawning this coming fall.

Just over a million dollars has already been spent on outside renovations and Reifenstuhl expects that an additional few hundred thousand will be needed to renovate the inside of the main hatchery and install a new water-treatment and recirculating system.

The unit will be fitted with RAS because Gunnuk Creek doesn’t have sufficient water for a single-pass hatchery. While most hatcheries in Alaska are designed to have enough “head” on the water to drive it through the egg-bearing incubation units, Gunnuk doesn’t have this.

NSRAA plans to have salmon eggs at the hatchery from nearby Hidden Falls Hatchery by October.

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