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Fishpond Archaeology

Ko`ie`ie Fishpond (also known as Ka`ono`ulu Kai Fishpond and Kalepolepo Fishpond) is located along the shorline of Ka`ono`ulu Ahupua`a, Kula District, in North Kihei, Maui, Hawai`i. It is a loko kuapa type of fishpond with a rock wall enclosing approximately 3 acres of ocean. Its depth ranges from 3 to 5 feet on most days. The bottom of the fishpond is composed of sand and coral rubble. The wall itself is 1,173 feet long. Its width varies throughout. The rock boulders that are used for the wall range from 1 foot to over 3 feet in diameter.

Theresa K. Donham of Akahele Archaeology, was hired as a contractor to research several archaeological aspects of Ko`ie`ie including the physical features of the fishpond wall, substrate composition, and she created a map of the study’s results.

Steve Athens of International Archaeological Research Institute, Inc., was also contracted to remove coring samples from the fishpond’s basin to determine the types of sediment which has accumulated over past centuries. This information led to the determination that Ko`ie`ie Loko I`a is was built after AD 1488-1643. He was able to conclude these dates by pollen found in the coring samples.

Theresa and Steve have provided extremely valuable information needed to obtain the State fishpond restoration permit and have donated many hours to the project. Mahalo Theresa and Steve!

Maui Scuba Diving