Keoneʻōʻio Fishpond La Perouse

Keoneʻōʻio Bay aka La Perouse Bay is at the center of a vast natural and cultural shoreline resource. Keoneʻōʻio Bay (La Perouse Bay) is on the southern shore of east Maui. The Keoneʻōʻio Fishpond is adjacent to the ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve (NAR).  The nearby La Perouse parking lot/entrance to the seashore marks the start of the King’s Highway, a trail that circumnavigated the island of Maui, originally built by Piʻilani and later improved by Governor Hoapili, sometimes called the Hoapili trail.

Keoneʻōʻio Fishpond
Keoneʻōʻio Fishpond

The ponds marked in orange in the diagram,  on the left side of the bay are Anchialine Fishponds.

“Keoneʻōʻio was once the site of thriving Hawaiian communities. Renowned for its rich fishing grounds, fish ponds, and shark lore, historic accounts and descendants of the area offers rich insights into the marine environment. As an example, the fishponds of Keoneʻōʻio were credited to  igh chief Kauholanuimahu (of the island of Hawai’i), whose ‘aumakua (family god), a benign shark, entered the pools via an underground passage bringing with him schools of fish (Sterling  998). Traditional and modern fishing practices are still conducted in the area, though the fishponds are currently under private ownership”. (Source, dlnr/Ahihi-Kinau-Natural-Area- eserve)

Kauholanuimahu, the Aliʻi from Hawaiʻi Island
“Kauholanuimahu was a Hawaiʻi Island chief who ruled in the mid-1400s and spent considerable time in, and exercised influence over, Honuaʻula. Kauholanuimahu was the son of Laʻakapu, who came from Honuaʻula, and a Hawaiʻi Island chief named Kahoukapu (Matsuoka et al. 1996:76). When his father died, his mother returned to Honuaʻula and her lands became his. Fornander states that he “resided a great portion of his time at Honuaula, Maui where he exercised royal authority, and, among other useful works, built the fishpond at Keoneoio” (Fornander 1880:8). He is also credited with building a heiau in Kāʻeo, mauka of Keawalaʻi Church (Matsuoka et al. 1996:76)”. (Source, Cultural-Impact-Assessment.pdf)