PUBLISHED: 6:05 PM on Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Hoonah Kids Fishing Derby begins June 8
HOONAH - The 18th annual Hoonah Kids Fishing Derby will be held June 8-14.

The derby encourages Hoonah youths to partake in the outdoors, offering plenty of fishing and other recreational activities, but also emphasizes outdoor education and conservation, said Sarah Brandy with the Hoonah Ranger District and one of this year's event coordinators.

  photo courtesy of the Hoonah Ranger District
"Our goal is to promote conservation education, stewardship and safety," she said. "We like to spend time identifying fish and helping the kids release fish that aren't fit to keep, along with a lot of the activities like the beach clean up ... to keep the town looking nice."

The event, which is organized by the Hoonah Ranger District and City of Hoonah, is aimed at youth ages 2-16, but is also considered to be a week of activities the entire family can enjoy.

The derby begins with a fun run/walk on June 8 and culminates with the fishing derby on June 14. Events like a casting content, fish printing and informational booths fill up the days in between. Smokey the Bear and Sammy the Salmon also will make special appearances to talk about conservation.

Brandy said the Hoonah community has once again pooled its resources and donated numerous prizes for the participating youths, including outdoor gear such as binoculars, sleeping bags, tents, fishing gear, head lamps, wrist watches, and a bicycle and skateboard

"We've really developed strong partnerships in the past years leading up to this (derby)," Brandy said. "We have a lot of community support and people calling to ask what they can do to help and who are excited about coordinating with us. Just having that strong foundation of partnerships developing is what will make this year stand out and go smoothly."

Schedule of events

• 6/8 - 3K and 5K fun run/walk

• 6/9 - Beach clean up (1.5 mile stretch in town)

• 6/10 - Info booths

• 6/11 - T-shirt fish printing

• 6/12 - Fish-themed reading program at the library

• 6/13 - Casting contest

• 6/14 - Fishing Derby from 11:30am - 3:30pm. Local businesses donated food for the barbecue following the derby.