March 09 2015


This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini… Catching careers on the river. More after this…

Alaskan Quota and Permits in Petersburg works hard for fishermen so they can do what they do best – fish! Visit Olivia at

Find out who’s catching all that seafood and their favorite recipes at a new micro site from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute – find it at

The Bristol Bay River Academy is looking for a new group of students for their 2015 fly fishing course coming up this summer. Seven years strong, it has helped launch Bristol Bay youth into the sport fishing guide industry. Building careers, learning leadership and gaining pride are only a few lessons learned during the onsite course. Trout Unlimited program coordinator Nelli Williams says over the years the program has really grown.BBRA


“It really started as a three day fly fishing course has evolved into a multi-phase learning program that teaches kids not only how to fly fish, but it helps students explore careers as guides and teaches them important things about river ecology, it connects them with local elders as well as experts in the field, and really helps them to learn leadership skills so that they can work as a team on issues that their communities might be facing.”


The free course is unique to the Bristol Bay Region. It is offered to youth between 14 to 24 years of age, and the academy picks only a dozen or so applicants each year.


“There is a lot of value in the one on one mentoring that occurs during the week, and then post academy we continue to work with our graduates to further their professional goals and continue to develop those leadership skills.”


This year students will experience their training from the Kulik Lodge in Katmai National Park.

“The students come, they stay for a week they learn a ton and at the end of the course they leave with a rod and reel and the basic fly tying materials, so they can continue to use the skills they have learned beyond the course and then hopefully set them on the right track so they can continue to use their skills that they have learned and expand on them.”

Fifty-eight students have graduated from the BBR academy and many have gone on to pursue guiding careers.

“After we’ve done this program for seven years it’s really fun to hear from past graduates. They often send us pictures of the fish they have caught, pictures of them guiding and working. Several of our students have worked multiple seasons in lodges in Bristol Bay; it is a great opportunity and perfect fit for many of these students.”

Williams says there is value in recruiting locally.

“They know the rivers in and out. They know that the July on the Kvichak can be as cold and nasty as it can be in October. So there is a lot of benefits both from the job opportunities for local young folks as well as the businesses that are thriving out there, there is a growing interest in hiring locally.”

The registration deadline is April 3rd. For more information and applications go to


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at – In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.