My students live in the remote community of Whale Pass, Alaska (pop. 50). They are exceeding enthusiastic, creative and outgoing. Most of them live a subsistence lifestyle; halibut, salmon, crab, shrimp that they collect with their parents and grandparents compose a significant portion of the their diet. They have big dreams for their future after high school.
While in fifth grade, one of my students caught a shark off the dock one day after school.
Other students routinely go off camping overnight; building their camps, starting their fires, catching trout, collecting mushrooms and having the time of their lives.
Few homes in town have year-round water, and students may have to deal with days of frozen pipes, walking to school, or getting to school by boat. They are a hardy bunch to say the very least!
The project's main goal is to deepen my students understanding and appreciation of the amazing region they live in by having them experience the streams and creeks through fly fishing with flies they have tied themselves. I believe that by deepening their connection with the ecology that they are a part, the more they will protect it.
All my students qualify for free meals at school due to their socio-economic situation.
Without the equipment and materials from this project these kids would never get the opportunity to hold a fly rod, cast a fly, and learn deeply about the rivers and creeks through the lens of a fly fishermen.
This project compliments my students current project to install a fish ladder on a barrier falls on 108 Creek. The ladder will enable silver salmon, sockeye salmon, pink salmon, steelhead and dolly varden trout to reach spawning areas that before now have been unavailable to them.
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