in the Kodiak Island Borough
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- Pronunciation/Other Names
Geography and Climate
- Port William is located on the southern tip of Shuyak Island, facing Afognak Island, about 45 air miles north of Kodiak.
- The Kodiak Archipelago is warmed by the Japanese current. The climate is similar to Southeast Alaska but with less precipitation. January temperatures average 14 to 46 °F; July temperatures range from 39 to 76 °F. Average annual rainfall is 74 inches.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Before 1930, Port William, a herring saltery, was owned by S. Sklaroff and Sons. 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 (est. 1909), leased the cannery. 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 pounds was installed and coho 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 red, coho, pink, and chum respectively. Some of the Port William superintendents were 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 (est. 1979). Port William operates today as Y Knot Charter's Port William Lodge.
- Tourism and sport fishing related to the Y Knot Port William Lodge sustain the community, although it is only seasonally inhabited.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permits Issued
- CDQ Participant
- Port William is accessible by sea plane and boat. Scheduled flights and charters by sea or air are available from Kodiak or Homer. A private seaplane base is owned by Washington Fish & Oyster. Port William serves as Mail Drop for the vicinity. Port William is the only deep-water port between Seldovia and Kodiak and is a popular stop-over for sea planes and marine vessels.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection