See an Ancient Fish Pond & Revive He’eia Estuary

Hosted by Hui o Koolaupoko

Welcome to an ancient Hawaiian fishpond, a sustainable form of aquaculture unique to this part of the world, located in Kaneohe Bay beside He’eia State Park on Oahu’s windward coast.  However, Invasive plant species have found their way into rivers, valleys and estuaries, encroaching on natural irrigation routes. Help us remove invasive species and bring back native plants that aid in control of erosion, and filter stormwater runoff. Your contribution will help revive the fishpond and Kanehoe Bay.


  • See the largest kuapā (hand made walled) fishpond dating 600+ year in Hawaiian existence
  • Visit breathtaking He’eia State Park & Kaneohe Bay where Giligan’s Island is located
  • Increase native Hawaiian plant habitat  
  • Remove invasive plants
  • Get muddy
  • Earn passage upon a traditional Hawaiian fishpond (kapu – off-limits otherwise)

Know before you book

  • Ability to perform gardening tasks while bending and lifting
  • no drop-in; must register in advance using the calendar link on this page
  • Participants under age 16 must have adult supervision; Participants under the age of 18, attending without their parent or legal guardian must bring the signed waiver; all others will sign the waiver upon arrival

2 reviews

  1. Walking on an ancient fish pond wall

    I arrived at Heʻeia park by bus within an hour of leaving Waikiki. The welcome center redirected me to a slope where the estuary meets the sea fronting an 800 year old fish pond – a sight I would have never know about had it not been for this wonderful project. Kristen and her intern TJ did a great job orienting us (about 18 today), by plucking 4 invasive plants and passing them around, then showing us the natives. First we plucked the bad for an hour, then during a snack break she explained more about the significance of this scenic area and her organization HOK. Soon we planted the good which felt really poignant – something to come back and see and know we made a difference. At noon we wrapped up and Kristen invited us to wade across the estuary and experience a rare privilege – walk upon the ancient fish pond – normally Kapu – but we were granted access. It was awe inspiring to stand under the haleʻs and see the little fish swim in through the mangrove fashioned gates where they stay until harvested. This pond she explained was among the largest to be fully encircled at sea by this ancient wall. Kristen also pointed out Coconut (aka Gilliganʻs) Island just yonder. Afterwards all new friend gathers at the Heʻeia grill right on the
    water overlooking kayaks headed to the Kaneohe sand bar. Mahalo everyone, it was so great to volunteer, share, learn and experience with you today.

  2. Mud Fight

    What an experience! The Heʻeia park is a must see by it self and then the walk on the FishPond topped everything. I have never seen Stingrays before but we were lucky and saw some while walking on the pond.
    There is only one thing you have to consider when taking part in this great activity. You will get muddy so wear old shoes and clothes! But if you are okay with that it is a lot of fun!

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Kamehameha Highway 46-465
Kaneohe 96744 HI US
Get directions