One of Yukon Energy's key values is to ensure we operate in an environmentally-responsible manner. The fishway and the fish hatchery are good examples of this. They are helping to ensure the survival of the Yukon River's Chinook salmon run.
For thousands of years, hundreds of Chinook salmon - born several years earlier in the Yukon River's tributaries – have left the Bering Sea and returned to their natal stream to spawn. However in 1958 the Northern Canada Power Commission (NPCP) built the Whitehorse Rapids hydroelectric dam. Authorities recognized that something had to be done to insure the continuation of the salmon run, so a year later they built the Whitehorse Fishway.
In 2009, to mark the 50th anniversary of the fishladder, Yukon Energy had a podcast prepared that tells the story of the ladder.
The Whitehorse Fish Hatchery and a salmon transplant program were started in the early 1980s in a further effort to build and maintain the salmon stocks.
The Yukon Energy Corporation took over NCPC's assets in 1987, including the fishway and hatchery.
The Whitehorse Fishway has been rated the number one visitor attraction in Whitehorse. It is also a favoured destination for local residents, many of whom return repeatedly throughout the season.
In 2002, the Whitehorse Fishway was given two awards by Attractions Canada, a national program recognizing excellence in tourism. The awards, in the categories of Developed Outdoor Site and Attraction of National Interest, pay tribute to the Fishway's reputation, outreach and leadership beyond the Yukon territory.
At the interpretation centre in the fishway, you can view fish through the underwater window and learn more about the salmon and other fish species from displays inside the building and the viewing platforms above the Yukon River.
Every summer, between 20,000 and 25,000 people come to see and learn about the fishway. Admission is by a suggested donation of $3 per person, or you can purchase a season's pass for the whole family for $10. For further information, please call (867) 633-5965.
The fishladder has underwater cameras and TV monitors to make your viewing more enjoyable and informative. The cameras allow you to see the fish from different locations starting from a holding pool at the entrance of the ladder and moving up through the ladder. We have also set up a web cam so that people can view the migrating salmon and freshwater fish via their home or office computer.