Our story

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association was incorporated in 1976 to provide the Cook Inlet drainage with an organized, scientifically-respected community, responsible for the protection of self-sustaining salmon stocks and the rehabilitation of salmon stocks and habitat.

These goals set forth by the board of directors are accomplished by maximizing the value of Cook Inlet’s common property salmon resource through the use of science, education, and technology.

What we do


CIAA maintains four hatcheries that supplement natural salmon production of the Cook Inlet region.

Habitat and Monitoring

CIAA conducts numerous restoration and monitoring projects each year.

Education and Outreach

CIAA shares its knowledge and resources with the community through tours and school visits.

We are stewards of wild salmon for all who fish here

The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association enhances salmon fisheries, using fish hatcheries throughout the region. Our activities benefit commercial fishing, sport fishing, tourism, and personal use harvests.

Get Involved

Our mission

Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association is a nonprofit regional association which exists to:

  • Protect self-sustaining salmon stocks and the habitat upon which they depend
  • Rehabilitate self-sustaining salmon stocks
  • Rehabilitate salmon habitat
  • Maximize the value of the Cook Inlet (Area H) common property salmon resource by applying science and enhancement technology where appropriate

Our goals

To accomplish this mission the Board of Directors of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association will:

  • Seek protection of salmon habitat through active participation (testimony, committee work, data input, etc.) in
    planning, permitting and enforcement processes.
  • Conduct salmon rehabilitation and enhancement projects which can be expected to significantly contribute
    to common property fishery harvests. An average harvest rate of 50% in the common property fishery is the
    acceptable standard for “significant contribution.” This standard does not apply during project development or
    to projects designed solely for cost recovery harvest.
  • Conduct evaluation activities which increase the effectiveness of project implementation.
  • Engage in research which advances the state of enhancement/rehabilitation technology.
  • Be sensitive to the interests of those harvesting the Area H common property salmon resource.
  • Educate the public about the salmon resource and the mission, goals and projects of the Association.
  • Maintain the highest standards of financial responsibility and accountability for the funds entrusted to it.
  • Maintain facilities, administrative practices and personnel policies which require and encourage its staff to perform in a safe, professional and cost-effective manner.
  • Comply with all statutes and regulations governing private nonprofit aquaculture association activities in the
    State of Alaska.
  • Participate, within the limits for tax-exempt corporations, in the development of legislation and regulation relevant to attainment of the mission.

Committed to our community

CIAA is committed to responsible service to the salmon resource and community. We do this through a number of ways such as

  • Donating coho smolt to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward for their exhibits
  • Donating excess salmon to food banks and senior centers
  • Providing fisheries field expertise and equipment to other organizations
  • Providing staff time and resources for collaborative projects such as the Kenai Watershed Forum’s annual water quality sampling of the Kenai River system. 

Our board of directors as well as our staff members go beyond their day-to-day duties by serving on other boards and committees with similar goals of providing and protecting salmon in the region and statewide. We do this to maximize resources and ensure coordination across different agencies and organizations. 

These groups include:

  • United Fishermen of Alaska
  • Matanuska–Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership
  • Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership
  • Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council
  • Alaska Invasive Species Partnership
  • Kachemak Bay State Park Citizen Advisory Board

YEARS at China Poot

also known as Leisure Lake, where CIAA stocks salmon the personal use dipnetters.


in which CIAA has been providing the sockeye salmon for the Resurrection Bay sockeye salmon fishery, primarily a hatchery run. 

Average Annual Harvest

of CIAA-provided sockeye salmon in lower Cook Inlet for personal use and subsistence harvests


that have been surveyed for beaver dams obstructing salmon passage in the Cook Inlet drainage

Northern Pike

harvested in the Susitna watershed, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of salmon fry from being eaten by pike.

sockeye salmon

 stocked annually into Bear Lake and Resurrection Bay for the Resurrection Bay sockeye salmon fishery

Our projects

During the summer and fall, CIAA collects valuable information used to evaluate natural salmon populations, the performance of salmon habitat improvement and hatchery release projects.  Additionally, the salmon population data collected at smolt traps and adult counting weirs is used by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for fisheries management. 

CIAA also conducts other research projects, such as tagging studies to investigate the predicability of migrating salmon and limnological sampling to estimate the productive potential of salmon rearing lakes in the Cook Inlet drainage, and assists the Kenai Watershed Forum with baseline data collections.

A letter from the board

Credibility, accountability, education, and responsible service to the resource and the community.

These are the core values of Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association. These are the commitments each member of our Board of Directors strive to uphold as they work cooperatively to govern this organization.

Although we are often called a “commercial fishing” organization, we are an organization that engages and includes salmon users from all fisheries—subsistence, sport, commercial, and personal use. But we also celebrate the Cook Inlet commercial fishing community that provides a significant amount of support and direction to this organization. These commercial fishermen recognize that in order to preserve a way of life, all users must work together to ensure that there are salmon available to all now and into the future.   

On these website pages, you will find lots of information about our operations, but what it all boils down to is enhancing salmon fisheries in the Cook Inlet regional for all. Each aspect of our organization—be it the hatcheries where salmon are born or out in the field where wild salmon and salmon habitat are protected—works toward this one goal.

We invite you to learn more about us and the services we provide to Cook Inlet communities, organizations, and individuals. We also invite you to engage with us through a number of ways such as signing up for our newsletter, attending a board meeting, or visiting a hatchery.  We look forward to engaging with you!

Executive Director

Board President