Bristol Bay Salmon Camp:
Inaugurated in 2002, the Bristol Bay Salmon Camp targets students in both middle schools and high schools across Bristol Bay. The purpose of the camp is for these students, whose home communities' economies and local cultures are based on salmon fishing, to develop a better understanding of salmon biology and current management approaches. Increasing student awareness of fisheries-related careers and the skills needed for these careers is also a key objective.
Students attending the camp travel to Aleknagik, using Lake Aleknagik and the small streams that feed the lake as their classroom. Experts instruct the students in techniques used for fisheries data collection, including beach seine netting, counting fish passage from the Wood River counting tower, and collecting scale samples and length measurements from salmon in a live box. After these introductions, students are able to try each of these things hands-on, and most of them dive right in.
Another component to the camp, in addition to field work, is discussions with fishermen and fishery managers in the area. Students' understanding of how and why fisheries are managed is enhanced, and students get to try their hand at some sample scenarios that fisheries managers face, deciding when and for how long to open the fishery in their scenario. Students also learn from locals the history of fishing in the area, and tour a cannery in Dillingham to see one way in which fish is processed for market.
Cooperators in putting on this camp are the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, University of Washington Fisheries Research Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Southwest Region School District, Alaska Department of Fish & Game (Commercial Fish Division and Sport Fish Division), and the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.
Middle school and high school students from throughout Bristol Bay are eligible for selection to attend this camp. For more information, please contact the Togiak Refuge or the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation.
Last updated: July 24, 2008