This summer, 15 sport fishing guide hopefuls from the Bristol Bay region will head to Kulik Lodge, a premier fly-out sport angling operation in Katmai National Park to participate in the Bristol Bay River & Guide Academy. Students will train for the opportunity to join the ranks as sport fishing guides in their local bustling recreation and tourism industry. Kulik Lodge’s owners, the Petersen family, pioneered and fostered the growth of commercial sport angling in Bristol Bay. In large part because of their efforts, Bristol Bay’s sport angling opportunities now have a world-class reputation and include over 70 lodges and guiding operations.
However, many of the guides employed by Bristol Bay lodges are recruited and flown up from the Lower 48. The Bristol Bay River & Guide Academy seeks to change that by training local youth, ages 14-24, to become sport fishing guides. Though many of the students may have never touched a fly fishing rod and reel before the first day of the Academy, nine of the 66 graduates have now worked in Bristol Bay lodges. Thanks to support from many community partners, the course is offered free of charge to participants.
The program is the only local course that provides training for Bristol Bay youth interested in pursuing jobs in the recreation and tourism industry. The weeklong riverside course teaches the basics of fly-fishing, river etiquette, and customer service; as well as explores topics in conservation and fisheries management with local biologists. Additionally, through field trips and special guests, participants will learn techniques on sharing stories about life in Bristol Bay with people from all over the world. Participants learn what it takes to be a guide and at the end of the Academy, successful applicants are well on their way to securing jobs in Bristol Bay’s lucrative sport fishing industry.
WHAT: Free fly-fishing and guide academy for Bristol Bay-area youth
WHEN: June 6-13, 2015. Applications are due April 3, 2015.
WHERE: Kulik Lodge, Katmai National Park, Alaska
WHO: Bristol Bay River Academy is organized through the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, Bureau of Land Management and many other community supporters and partners.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: please see www.bristolbayriveracademy.org/apply
Questions? Contact Jenny Lynes: [email protected] or 952-210-0795