Kake pins hopes on oyster farming

KAKE — Timber, construction and commercial fisheries are down, the cannery closed decades ago, and the salmon hatchery here is closing next month. The Organized Village of Kake, the Hoonah Indian Association and organizers across Southeast have another hope: oyster farming.

Oysters aren’t native to Southeast Alaska, and oyster farming isn’t new here, but Alaskan oysters have advantages over those grown in warmer climes, oyster bars are ever popular, and teamwork, say farms’ proponents, can help make it a lucrative effort. Other kinds of shellfish farming provide even more opportunities.

The Southeast Soil and Conservation District, a recently created entity that aims to become a clearinghouse for information and opportunities across Southeast Alaska, hosted a workshop on shellfish farming in Kake at the beginning of this month.

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