ALASKA – The weather was cool and partly sunny with a bit of a breeze, and the fish were jumping. Poles and bait were provided, and no licenses were required. It was National Fishing and Boating week, and more than 100 people, including over 40 youth, enjoyed the Chugach National Forest Kids Fishing Day at Moose Flats in Portage Valley, Alaska. The event started mid-morning and ended mid-afternoon on Saturday, June 1.
Families spent their day learning how to fish. Lessons on how to use bait and how take the fish off the hooks were provided. There were fly tying stations and instructions on how to use the ties. The fish painting of t-shirts (and the occasional arm) yielded great results all in the name of fish fashion. Even little tikes had a chance to cast a bean bag into the mouth of a fish.
One little girl exclaimed after she caught a fish, “I get to eat the fish! I don’t know if I should eat him, maybe I should put her back to swim free.”
USDA Forest Service staff cooked hotdogs and provided drinks and treats to participants. Student Conservation Association interns, volunteers and fishery biologists were on hand to assist with the fishing and other activities. The event was hosted by the Chugach National Forest with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game stocked the pond with a thousand rainbow trout.
Mouths full, fishing poles cast and the fish jumping, biting made for another exciting Kids Fishing Day. The annual event is a fun family day and a day to help stoke a lifetime of fishing in youngsters.