Fish, fun in Kake for 20th annual kids’ derby

By: Gina Meucci

 

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KAKE, Alaska – Make a lure, catch some fish and then paint their likeness. These were just a few of the activities afforded to the more than 100 kids who attended the 20th annual Kake Kids’ Fishing Derby on July 1, 2017.

Held within the Petersburg Ranger District boundaries of the Tongass National Forest, the event was created to provide entertainment and conservation education to children up to 16 years of age. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., each child was able to craft fishing lures, catch a few fish, make nature-print shirts, identify macroinvertebrate insects, enjoy a free barbecue lunch, and go home with a prize.

“The kids enjoy it and it is a good thing for them,” said Joel Jackson, Vice President for the Organized Village of Kake. “It inspires them to get outside instead of sitting at home.”

The event is the result of a collaboration between the Forest Service and numerous other community partners in Kake. Major contributors included the Organized Village of Kake (OVK), Kake Tribal Corporation, Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), and Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA). Local businesses and private citizens donated prizes for the event, including mountain bikes, fishing rods and gift cards. 

“We’re thankful for the Forest Service, and the other organizations and businesses who make this event possible,” said Russell L. Jackson, a Kake resident and long-time derby volunteer. “It really helps the kids, and they enjoy it”.

Prize categories were chosen by the Forest Service according to ADF&G regulations, and included: largest fish, smallest fish, most unique fish, most fish, “tried real hard” fish and many more. The most common species caught were sculpin, cut throat trout, black cod and pink salmon. The catch of the day was a 28-inch pink salmon.

The turnout for the event, 126 kids registered in total, and the vibrancy of the crowd were encouraging for the future of the community experience.

“Our staff looks forward to the derby every year, because of how involved the community of Kake is,” said Petersburg District Ranger Dave Zimmerman. “I think this event will be around for a long time.” 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/home/?cid=FSEPRD550062