Don’t be misled by Alekoko Fishpond. It may look like it’s just a lake, when really, this ancient site has a mythical history floating beneath its surface. Hawaiians believed it to be the work of menehune, the mischievous little people of Hawaii.
Said to be built in a single night, the fishpond – also called Menehune Fishpond – is more than 1,000 years old. The menehune lived hidden from humans in the nearby forests. But on the night of building this structure, hundreds of them are said to have lined up from the village of Makaweli – about 25 miles away. They passed lava rocks from one hand to the next before meticulously assembling them into what we see today. The wall piding the pond from the stream is about 900 feet long by five feet high.
Alekoko Fishpond can be viewed from a lookout point right off of Hulemalu Road in Lihue. Signage helps to share the history and purpose of such a site with those passing through. Most enjoy coming here for the spectacular sunsets, though, as the surrounding mountain range and Huleia Stream get flooded with golden rays.
While it’s no longer in use, this fishpond is an excellent example of ancient Hawaiian technology at its finest. Young fish would swim through the small holes in the fishpond’s gate, eventually getting trapped in there after growing too large to leave. The fish would breed and multiply, providing a plentiful means of food for Hawaiians. One can only imagine what it was like hundreds of years ago. It’s an amazing piece of Hawaiian history waiting right before your eyes.
ALEKOKO FISHPOND • Off of Hulemalu Road, Lihue, HI • Free parking at lookout