Kake hatchery slated for closure

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

The Gunnuk Creek Hatchery in Kake is about to close. Local leaders and residents say it will be a blow to the community's economy and access to fish.

The hatchery owed the state nearly $14 million it was denied another loan. The hatchery, owned by the Kake Nonprofit Fisheries Corp., defaulted on its payments, causing the state to foreclose.

Capital City Weekly reports that Kake's mayor and the hatchery manager blame a dam failure above the hatchery in 2000 for much of the trouble the facility found itself in.

While a new dam was later built, it stopped water flow, killing fish. An improved dam was completed in 2007 but returns weren't sufficient to recover operating costs, prompting the hatchery to seek loans from the state.