Hoonah Fishing Fleet at the City Dock

In the 50's and 60's, Hoonah was known as home of the million dollar fleet for their skill, ability, success and how well they kept their boats.
Traditional Knowledge: 

It was said that if you were a fishermen from Hoonah you were good. No question. Uncontested, it was the way it was. The Hoonah fishermen were tough, competitive and could fish the Inian Islands like no others. The tides were so fierce in the Inian Islands that others who tried to fish the waters inevitably had trouble and could not do it.


The “Million Dollar Fleet” sits at rest.  After the 1944 fire, Hoonah got a city dock, seen here.  The boat harbor was still some decades in the future.  In the early part of the seine season many of the seine fleet from the fishing communities throughout southeast Alaska and Puget Sound came to Hoonah for the “Icy Straits” fishery.  While there was no official count, locals recall close to 200 vessels.  Many of the seine fleet would anchor out in front of town and others tied up or anchored at the cannery.  In this image power blocks can be seen on the booms and diesel power skiffs are stacked on the sterns – an indicator of change in fishing techniques from previous years.  Everyone in the region knew who the “Inian Island” fishermen were - the Huna boats, captains and crews.   There were two fuel docks, one the Union float at Kane’s dock, seen here, and the Standard Oil dock at Hoonah Seafoods, out of the picture to the right.