Fish and Game Friday: Anchorage students learn to fish on ice
It may be out of season, but you can catch some salmon this weekend in Anchorage.
The state Department of Fish and Game has stocked waterways around Southcentral Alaska with king salmon for winter ice fishing. Thousands of Anchorage School District students-turned-anglers have visited Jewel Lake this week to try their luck.
It was second grader Austin Waynick's first time on this ice.
"You have to be very patient for ice fishing," Waynick said.
After a little help from the experts, Waynick and classmate Emily Wilson resolved to wait it out.
"Hello, Emily, have you caught anything yet? Stay with me!," Waynick shouted from his fishing hole to Wilson's.
Not every student in their group landed a catch.
"I haven't caught one yet," fourth grader Sydnie Humphries said halfway through the field trip.
Some had better luck than others, and others, didn't quite catch what they were looking for.
"I don't know how to cook trout," said Ryan Jorg, as he released his catch back under the ice. The second grader said he would hold out hopes for a salmon instead.
In the end, patience paid off for both Waynick, who caught one Alaska blackfish, and Wilson.
"What did she do to catch a fish? Excuse me, sir, what did she do to catch a fish?," Waynick shouted as Wilson pulled up her second blackfish.
"I waited," she said.
Patience is just one of the values that Fish and Game staff hope to instill in students.
"[Fish is] a historic resource, really, so you want to continue that tradition of catching utilizing the resources that we have," said technician Phillip Stacey. "I just think it's our duty to pass those skills on to the next generation."
Families will also be able to fish at Jewel Lake on Saturday. Fish and Game staff will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will loan out gear for free.
Anyone over the age of 18 will need a sport fishing license, which Fish and Game will have available for purchase on-site. The cost for state residents is $29, and credit cards are a preferred method of payment.
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