Project – Creating Jobs for Bristol Bay Youth
In August 2010, more than 14 Alaska youth will attend the Bristol Bay Flyfishing and Guide Academy in Ekwok, a rural subsistence community located on the Nushagak River. The primary purpose of the academy is to acquaint the youth of Bristol Bay with the business of recreational fishing and guiding. “Most people who visit Bristol Bay want to fish. And most of them want to fish with a local, home-grown guide who knows the waters, the wildlife, the people and the way of life here. That’s why we’re training the region’s young people to explore careers as guides–so young people can stay in the region, earn a prosperous living, advocate for the health of the watershed and offer visitors an authentic experience of one of our country’s most spectacular natural places,” explains Marjorie Dunaway of The Land Trust.
In the last 30 years recreational fishing, particularly flyfishing, has become a significant seasonal economic activity and, like subsistence and commercial fishing, the continuation of recreational fishing depends upon the preservation of healthy fish habitat. Today, most fishing guides come from the Lower 48. The Academy is creating an opportunity for Bristol Bay youth to tap into the opportunity of guiding as well as going a step beyond by teaching the students about conservation. The program enlists Native elders, conservation organizations, and state and federal fisheries to incorporate traditional knowledge and fish ecology. Trout Unlimited along with the Nature Conservancy will make presentations on conservation and habitat protection.
ACF co-sponsors this program. Other co-sponsors include the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Trout Unlimited, GCI, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, The Nature Conservancy and University of Alaska Bristol Bay Campus.
- Nushugak Mulchatna Wood Tikchik Land Trust
- ACF awarded $5,000 for this project.