As the return of fish to the Kenai Peninsula nears its historic halfway point, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is putting a spotlight on salmon for Fish Week.
Dissecting a fish is one of many activities happening at the Refuge this week, mostly aimed at the younger crowd. On Tuesday, they were way into the insides of a pair of salmon donated to the cause of science from a Department of Fish and Game weir. Natural Resources Interpreter Leah Eskelin says there’s a kind of path the week takes, starting with learning the basics of what a salmon is and how they’re built.
"Today is all about getting to know salmon and the ecology of fish here on the Kenai Penisnula. The rest of the week moves toward the actual fishing of fish; how to cast with fishing reels and all the way through how to process fish. We have dogs coming Saturday, talking about the use of fish here in our community for dog mushing.
Fish is part of our collective culture here. But there's also the culture from the Kenaitze tribe and the Dena'ina people from the area, it's really important to take a moment and recognize when we respect the resource, the resource comes back to us."
The free activities at the refuge visitors center continue through Saturday with dipnetting for insects and a cultural presentation from the Kenaitze tribe, arts and craft activities and lessons on how to can salmon. You can find out more at 262-2820.