The original DIPAC hatchery built in 1976 was a small facility located on the back porch of the Macaulay residence at Kowee Creek. From there, the hatchery was moved to the back yard, inside one of Joe Juneau's original gold mine adits. In 1983, a small two-story building was constructed in front of the adit and it was later used as a research unit by the University of Alaska. The hatchery is no longer in use and the permit was returned to the State of Alaska.
In 1980, the decision was made for DIPAC's expansion to a second hatchery, two miles south of Juneau, after the Kowee Creek Hatchery witnessed a 20,000+ pink return in 1979. Prior to the Hatchery program, Kowee Creek had not produced a single wild stock salmon in the previous seven years.
At the second facility, the Sheep Creek Hatchery, plans called for the production of 20 million summer chum eggs for the Lower Lynn Canal and Taku gillnetter fishermen. However, pink salmon were kept until the chums returned in adequate numbers. In 1986, the Coho Annex facility was built at Sheep Creek in order to build a broodstock (adult male and female fish for spawning) source for what was eventually to become the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. The hatchery was converted into a coho rearing facility to augment the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery production from 1998 till 2014, and in 2015 it was decommissioned and the permit relinquished to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).
The Snettisham Hatchery was constructed by the State of Alaska in 1980 and operated by ADF&G until DIPAC took over operation of the facility in July of 1996. The hatchery is currently permitted to incubate up to 33.5 million sockeye salmon for various projects. Salmon produced from the Snettisham Hatchery contribute to commercial fishermen, subsistence users and hatchery cost recovery.
The Macaulay Salmon Hatchery (formerly Gastineau Salmon Hatchery) was completed in 1990 at a capital cost of $7.4 million. The hatchery is permitted for 50 million pink, 121 million chum, 1.5 million coho and 950,000 chinook. The facility can hold up to 300 million eggs, and is one of the five largest salmon hatcheries in the State of Alaska.
The Macaulay facility is also the home of DIPAC's Ladd Macaulay Visitor Center which has accommodated hundreds of thousands of visitors since 1990, and has become a vital educational resource for the community of Juneau and the surrounding areas.
The city of Juneau has located a sport fishing dock next to the Macaulay hatchery site, and this urban fishing opportunity has proved to be a success for Juneau residents and visitors alike. The sport fishing dock provides sport fisherman direct access to salmon returning to the hatchery.