Mon, September 09, 2013

Park’s Cannery, Uyak Bay

In 1934, Herbert Dominici built a one-line cannery on Kodiak Island, across from Amook Island in Uyak Bay. His was the newest cannery in a neighborhood relatively flush with canning operations. In fact, he was formerly the superintendent at one such cannery, that owned by Northwestern Fisheries, located at the Uyak Anchorage. Dominici mostly canned salmon taken from Ottar Hofstad’s two fish traps, located on the Shelikof Straits on the west side of Kodiak Island. These fish traps intercepted salmon migrating back to the Karluk River, making them simultaneously very productive and the source of serious ire coming from local purse seiners and beach seiners operating off the Karluk Spit. Hoftad’s traps would routinely catch twice as much salmon in one day as that caught by the 60+ fishermen operating at Karluk.

By 1938, Dominici had sold his operation to the Great Northern Packing Company, who folded after one season. It was in 1940 that James Wilson Parks started the eponymous Parks Canning Company, which stayed in operation until Whitney Fidalgo Seafoods purchased the cannery in 1970. Its last season of operation was in 1983.

As is the case with many extant canneries in the Kodiak area, the Parks Cannery is now used as a hunting and fishing lodge. While visiting friends at their Amook Island fish camp this summer, we buzzed over to Park’s to snap some photos and regale in some old time cannery atmosphere. Please enjoy the photos.

Thanks to Pat Roppel’s Salmon from Kodiak for the historical information, and to Pete and Sara Danelski for hauling me to Park’s.