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Quilcene NFH a First-Time Host to Annual Youth Fisheries Academy

Campgoers Take Aim At Invasive Species Archery, Outdoor Skills
A young junior angler
From dissecting salmon to “hunting” invasive carp with foam tipped arrows, the Skokomish Tribal Youth summer camp attendees had a great time participating in the Youth Fisheries Academy at the Quilcene National Fish Hatchery on July 11th, 2018. While the Youth Fisheries Academy has been in existence since 2010, this summer marked the first time it was hosted at this hatchery facility, with volunteer hatchery hosts and staff from the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery pitching in.


Youth Fisheries Academy campgoers learn outdoor skills such as fish identification and anatomy. Photo: Dan Spencer/USFWS

Over 45 Kindergarten through Eighth Grade campers as well as 10 counselors bussed over for an afternoon of fun and learning. With the wide age range and volume of campers, Service staff split them up into two overall age groups. The younger campers rotated through stations including: hatchery tours, fish printing (gyotaku) and salmon lifecycle themed games and artwork. At the salmon survival roll playing game, the campers, we mean “salmon,” rolled a large die at different life stages and habitats to see if they would move on, remain or fall victim to a predator or environmental condition. After several tries, the campers finally made it back to spawn and got a taste of just how difficult it is to make that complete journey.

Salmon survival can be a roll of the dice -- literally -- at Youth Fisheries Academy. The hands-on, movement-based activity teaches campgoers about the salmon lifecycle while getting some exercise. Photo: Sean Connolly/USFWS

The older group rotated through stations including: salmon dissections and aquatic invertebrates, fish & wildlife technology, and fishing and hunting skills. The technology station featured GPS navigation and radio telemetry “hide and seek”, where the campers attempted to locate their tagged peers. At the fishing and hunting station, campers worked on their casting skills as they attempted to retrieve “backyard bass” models. Successful catches were followed by a fish identification activity. The archery activity included invasive carp targets as a way of highlighting the importance of invasive species control and prevention. These activities were so much fun that the Skokomish camp counselors themselves couldn’t help stepping in to test and develop their skills!

Participants in the 2018 Youth Fisheries Academy hosted for the first time at Quincene NFH. Photo: Ron Wong/USFWS


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Last Updated: October 30, 2018
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