A young angler participates in the Kenai River Junior Classic on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

A young angler participates in the Kenai River Junior Classic on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Juniors get hooked fishing the Kenai

The annual event teaches kids about summer river recreation, fish habitat and water safety.

Kids from all over Southcentral Alaska took to their boats and tried their luck fishing on Wednesday during the 15th annual Kenai River Junior Classic.

The event, put on by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, is meant to teach kids about summer river recreation, fish habitat and water safety.

Ben Mohr, the executive director of the association, said the Junior Classic this year was great. Last summer the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re really happy,” Mohr said.

There were about 110 kids ages 8 through 16 from the Anchorage Armed Services YMCA, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and other programs. Almost three-quarters of the kids were from Anchorage, and the rest were locals.

In the morning the kids participated in shoreside activities with the Wildlife Troopers, Challenger Learning Center and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game before loading into their guided boats and taking off down the Kenai River.

“(It’s) nice to just get out there and do stuff like it used to be,” Mohr said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to launch from Harry Gaines Fish Camp in Soldotna on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to launch from Harry Gaines Fish Camp in Soldotna on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Guides with the Kenai River Sportfish Association wait in their boats on the Kenai River in Soldotna on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Guides with the Kenai River Sportfish Association wait in their boats on the Kenai River in Soldotna on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to head down the Kenai River on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to head down the Kenai River on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to head down the Kenai River on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic prepare to head down the Kenai River on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic head down the Kenai River near Big Eddy Road in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Participants in the Kenai River Junior Classic head down the Kenai River near Big Eddy Road in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

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