If you tuned into our virtual lab tour back in March, you had probably heard that our public touch tank and aquarium were being renovated. Well, we’re happy to say the renovation is complete and we are beyond pleased with the finished product!
Over the winter, we took advantage of the fact that our building was closed to the public and envisioned some ways to improve our facility. We tackled this project through a collaborative effort with the Kodiak Island Borough, the entity that owns and maintains the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center building. During this project, both the touch tank and aquarium got massive, deep cleans. This included removing every critter, draining all the water, removing all the sand, rocks and other structures and buffing the acrylic. Once all the structures were removed from the large aquarium, we pressure washed all the separate pieces to remove years of algae build up. Once all the pieces were clean and dry, we repaired damaged areas. It was a lot of work, but we managed to get everything cleaned, fixed and put back together inside the aquarium.
We also installed new, artificial kelp to create different habitat areas for the fish and invertebrates. The kelp really adds dimension to our tanks and increases the realism of the environment!
We’ve been slowly reintroducing fish to the tanks over the last few weeks and we should have it back to full capacity shortly! From all of us here at the NOAA Kodiak Lab, we hope you are enjoying summer & look forward to seeing you in person in the future!
Lastly, we’d like to acknowledge all the folks that helped in getting this project completed: Mike Litzow (NOAA AFSC), Allie Conrad (NOAA AFSC), Connor Cleary (NOAA AFSC), Adam Potter (Azura Co., in support of NOAA AFSC), Joletta Silva (Azura Co., in support of NOAA AFSC), Dave Conrad (KIB), Eddie Arellano (KIB), Lewis Laskie (KIB), and Chris Gilbert (KIB).