|Playing the "Salmon Homing Game"|
|Fish dissection station|
As the Youth Fisheries Academy continues to grow and develop, we plan to connect with even more diverse communities and groups of kids. Neah Bay is a part of the Makah Indian Reservation and a significant portion of the population is Native American. Salmon are a vital component of the culture, community, natural history, and industry of Neah Bay and it was fantastic to show the campers that there is a lot of positive energy and excitement from all over the state surrounding salmon. One of my favorite moments from the second camp was during one of the dissection sessions with two high school campers. We were talking about the process of dissection and how it is similar to, yet different from, gutting fish-- which they were very familiar with--when one of the campers exclaimed how interesting and valuable it was to know what each organ was and that next time he was gutting a fish, he would pay much more attention to what he was removing. To me, this represents a poignant and graceful cultural connection between the youth of Neah Bay and the hatchery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the scientific community. After receiving very positive reviews and an invitation to return to Neah Bay next summer, I hope that we can continue to reach out to the youth of Neah Bay and show them the many connections and opportunities surrounding salmon and science!