Whether on the banks of a popular road-accessible stream or in the backcountry wilderness accessible only by a small bush plane, Alaska is an angler's dream come true for both residents and tourists alike. But sport fishing in America's Last Frontier is more than just a recreational diversion for the state of Alaska. The industry provides a total economic impact of $1.4 billion annually – including nearly 16,000 jobs, $545 million in annual income and $246 million in annual tax revenue.
Serving a mission to protect, maintain and improve the state's valuable sport fisheries, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish found that its aging hatcheries could not meet the growing production goals to keep Alaska's rivers and lakes well-stocked. To meet its goals and enhance its operation, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities hired HDR to plan and design the $96 million, 141,000-square-foot William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery – the largest indoor sport fish hatchery in North America.
HDR was responsible for the hatchery’s design, preparation of construction documents, construction administration and additional services including site analysis, NEPA, permitting, 3-D modeling, utility management and lease assistance.
The new hatchery – which features more than 100 fish rearing tanks for Chinook and Coho salmon, rainbow and lake trout, arctic char and arctic grayling – efficiently increases and diversifies sport fish production for the Division of Sport Fish. The hatchery incorporates state-of-the-art fish rearing recirculation technologies that allow production goals to be met while using approximately five percent of the fresh water volume and five percent of the energy required in a conventional hatchery. This solution allows the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to meet its mission in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.