About Ketchikan, Alaska
February 2, 2023
Ketchikan, Alaska, the Salmon Capital of the World, is nestled on the southeastern edge of Revillagigedo Island. The island is 132 miles around and is surrounded by the Tongass Narrows and the East and West Behm Canals. Ketchikan lies along the southeastern coast of the island. Native Klingit and Haida Indian tribes first settled Revillagigedo Island in the early 1800â€™s. The first white settler of Ketchikan was Mr. John Snow, a salmon fishery pioneer, in 1883. He helped build the original salmon cannery in Ketchikan just two years later. At the height of the salmon canning industry there were 13 operational canneries in the Ketchikan area, employing several hundred people.
Ketchikan was incorporated as a city in 1900. The town center was built on wood pilings along Ketchikan Creek which became known as Creek Street. In the 1930â€™s Prohibition Era, Creek Street became a bustling hub for bordeau houses, speak easies, and rum runners. Coined the Red Light District, smugglers utilized trap doors below Creek Street buildings to pass moonshine from their boats to the establishments at high tide. Around this time, Ketchikan began expanding to the east and west, constructing boardwalk streets along the shores of the Tongass Narrows. Today the town covers approximately 36 miles along the southeastern shore of Revillagigedo Island and is home to 14,000 year-round residents.
Alaska gained statehood in 1959 at the height of the Gold Rush. Ketchikan was nicknamed the â€œFirst Cityâ€� as it was the first town that optimistic miners visited upon entering the state. Around 1960 the use of fish traps, which catch salmon in giant pens at the mouth of a river, were made illegal. Without fish traps holding salmon for easy catch, the production of canned salmon drastically slowed. Modern machinery reduced the number of employees needed to run a cannery and several operations were shut down. Today Ketchikan has three operating canneries and one cold storage facility.
Following the outlaw of fish traps, the salmon industry has grown strong and healthy. Modern salmon fishing methods- such as purse seining, gill netting, and trolling- allow for better wild fish stock management. Record numbers of King, Pink, Silver, Chum and Sockeye Salmon return to local creeks and streams each year. With a diverse history and one of the worldâ€™s best regulated fisheries, Ketchikan became a unique tourist destination. The earliest cruise ships arrived in the area around 1976. In 1985, the first fishing charter companies were established. Salmon charter captains help visitors experience the salmon fishing thrill which founded the town over one hundred years earlier.
Today the town averages 3-6 cruise ships per day and sees over 900,000 visitors annually. More than 50 charter companies are available for fishing excursions in Ketchikan. We hope that you choose Rainy Day Charters as your premier Ketchikan fishing adventure. In addition to enjoying the salmon fishing which founded Alaskaâ€™s First City, we provide you with a brief tour of the town and share with you some of the unique attractions of Ketchikanâ€™s exciting history! We hope to see you soon!
Captain Bill Can Be Reached At 1-907-821-1460