Our Stop at Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center — Ketchikan

This remarkable nonprofit center combines one of Alaska's best hatchery tours with a great place to see and hear bald eagles, up close.
In the hatchery, during late summer, you can see fish climbing against the current, up into pools where they're sorted, before being cut open to complete their biological purpose. (Salmon die after they spawn.) The hatchery tour lets you get very close so you can feed newly hatched salmon fry yourself. A special hatchery display shows salmon growth, From left to right, the hatchery displays the progression
from salmon egg to young adult (smolt).
(Click the photo to hide it.)
from eggs to young adult
<<click to open; click again to close]. The hatchery produces King and Coho ("Silvers") salmon and Steelhead Trout.
Adjacent to the hatchery, visitors can walk past the open eagle enclosure. Remarkably, the resident pair of injured, flightless, bald eagles have mated for life and built a nest where they lay eggs each year. They hunt salmon swimming naturally within their enclosure. There's no glass or screen between you and these astonishing creatures — you're only a few feet away.

Fish hatchery opportunities:

  • Visit the hatchery's "fish ladder."<<click to open]
  • Feed two families of salmon of all ages.
  • Experience the process of raising Alaskan salmon.

Eagle center opportunities:

Days and hours of operation; pricing; accessibility:
  • May 1 through September 31
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., every day
  • Admission: $9 for adults; children 12 years and under: free
  • Located less then a mile from where your ship docks
  • The entire tour is wheelchair accessible. (Hoooooray!)

The Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery releases nearly 150,000 King and Coho Salmon every year. Visitors can view holding pools packed with salmon of various ages.
At the Eagle Center, visitors can see rehabilitated birds, up close, such as the Great Horned Owl and two magnificent Bald Eagles.
Visits to both attractions are highly recommended by all eight of us.

To return to the Ketchikan page, click here. To see the Totem Heritage Center page, click here.