On August 13 and 14, Alaska’s Kenai River served as a backdrop for the eighth annual Kenai River Jr. Classic, an event that encourages local kids to take part in fishing as a hobby.
According to an August 25 Peninsula Clarion article, more than 150 local children between the ages of 8 and 16 fished along the river with the help of professional guides as part of the event, which was organized by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA).
During this time of year, the silver salmon swims up the river to seek spawning tributaries. As the second silver salmon run in late September features larger fish, the early August date of this event ensured the salmon would be a good size for the kids to catch.
“For many of the youth, it was the first time they had ever caught a fish,” said Ricky Gease, executive director of the KRSA. “Kids not only got to fish for silvers with a professional guide all afternoon, they spent the morning learning about salmon and their life cycles, how to tie fishing knots, boating safety and the importance of wearing a life jacket. This year, we even had a live porcupine that kids got up close to.”
According to the Peninsula Clarion, the Kenai River Jr. Classic is part of a nationwide effort to teach young people to enjoy the sport, called Take Me Fishing.
And because the Kenai River area is one of the most thriving homes of wildlife in the state of Alaska — and the state’s most popular fishing destination — these kids live in the perfect location to pursue their newfound hobby.