Port William Wilderness Lodge is on the southwestern side of Shuyak Island along the Shuyak Strait and across from Afognak Island, approximately 45 miles northeast of the City of Kodiak. Port William's location provides protected waters which makes the area accessible for small planes and boats.
Most of Shuyak Island is designated as Shuyak Island State Park, part of Alaska's extensive State Park System. The calm ocean waters, islands and surrounding mountains harbor a wide variety of wildlife including sea otters, sea lions, pinnipeds (seals), predatory birds, humpback, orca and fin whales, brown bear and blacktail deer.
Port William Wilderness Lodge offers self-guided fishing and hunting outfiitting services and the opportunity to experience Alaska's wilderness in its purest form. With an abundance of blacktail deer, brown bear and fish including pacific halibut and cod, sockeye, coho and chinook salmon there is no shortage of potential for exciting adventures.
The Lodge provides guests lodging, meals, skiffs, fishing gear, equipment and, bait. If resources permit, Port Williams staff will provide assistance for guests’ individual adventures. After guests have their catch, the lodge will clean, freeze and pack up to 50 lbs for shipment. Our goal is to make your stay and exciting and enjoyable as possible. If possible, special requests will be honored.
Shuyak Island is part of the Kodiak Archipelago which is is warmed by the North Pacific Current. The climate is relatively cool and wet with average temperatures ranging from 34 to 46 degrees throughout the year. In the late spring and summer, the temperature hovers around 60 degrees during daylight hours. Average annual rainfall is approximately 68 inches.
Before 1930, Port William was owned by S. Sklaroff and Sons and operated as a herring salting facility. In 1930, it was purchased by Peter Wold and began salmon operations as Port William Packing Company. It was managed by John Torwik who had spent 29 years fishing in the Kodiak area, particularly around Shearwater Bay. After a poor season, the plant sat idle until 1934 when Roy Jenson, president of Washington Fish and Oyster, leased the cannery while his son, Tom, acted as superintendent.
After a successful 1935 season, Washington Fish & Oyster purchased Port William at a U.S. Marshall's sale. In 1940, a cold-storage plant with capacity of 300,000 lbs. was installed and coho salmon were frozen there. In 1941, herring and halibut were frozen there as well. Salmon labels used by Washington Fish and Oyster included Ocean Beauty, Silver Beauty, Bay Beauty, and Sound Beauty for sockeye (red), coho (silver), pink, and chum salmon, respectively. Port William superintendents included Chris Nelson (1945), Bill Hingston (1956 and 1963), Don Gerber (1964) and Verne Swanson (1966).
After the 1976 season, with the advent of the new fish processing ships, the cannery was sold to Wayne Treat, a Kodiak commercial fisherman. In 1986, it was sold to the owners of Y Knot Halibut Charter.
Today, Port William operates as Port William Wilderness Lodge. Remnants of the nearly 100 year old cannery remain and one building houses the Lodge's fish and game cleaning facilities.
*Some information provided by Alaska Wilderness and Tourism Association