Volunteers hope to restore Kalauhaehae Fishpond for educational use

Laura Lucas Thompson
Laura Lucas Thompson
Chris Cramer
Chris Cramer
Carlos Andrade
Carlos Andrade

By Cindy Cha - bio | email

MAUNALUA BAY (KHNL) - During the 1950s, the Kalauhaehae Fishpond was one of the greatest fisheries in Honolulu, pumping out around 200,000 gallons of fresh water a day.

A non-profit center wants to restore it back to its golden days.

The pond in Niu Valley in east Honolulu was damaged during the widening of Kalanianaole Highway in the mid 1990s.

Volunteers say their main focus, is to preserve it, and get fresh water flowing again.

It's one of the last fishponds remaining on Oahu. The Kalauhaehae Fishpond, also known as Lucas Pond, sits empty in Maunalua Bay in Niu Valley. An observation structure built over the pond has boarded-up windows.

The pond itself is murky and brown.

It's a far cry from what Laura Lucas Thompson remembered decades ago. Her family inherited this land from Kamehameha the First.

"This pond had lots and lots of water, if I jumped in as a little kid, it would come way up to this. It was deep for a small kid but the animals had a way of coming in and that was how they would drink their fresh water," said Thompson.

Volunteers from the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, hope to restore it.

"Once this pond was damaged it really had a big effect on our limu and the fish population for this whole area so we hope that restoration efforts at this site will effect the whole bay as well," said Chris Cramer, director of Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center.

The goal is to work with the University of Hawaii Center for Hawaiian Studies, to turn the site into a place of education.

"Our center has developed curriculum for fishponds and we want to develop more curriculums so this fits into our mission as part of our educational mission," said Carlos Andrade, director of the UH Center for Hawaiian Studies.

The group hopes by combining traditional resources with modern strategies, the area will begin to recover.

The Center is seeking donations to help kick start the fishpond education effort.