Planning and Programming

Things are heating up...

We just had our first programs of the summer! Much more to come. 

KBIC Fishing clinic

Kids receiving instruction at KBIC Fishing Clinic
Me putting a worm on a kid's hook

We recently attended the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Fishing Clinic and Kids Fishing Day! We spent the day teaching kids the different types of fishing, how to cast, knot tying, how to put a fishing pole together, and they got to fish as well! There was one unfortunate turtle that fell for our temptations, but otherwise we only caught bullheads. I was on worm duty the entire time spent fishing, which the kids appreciated as most of them were extremely grossed out by touching them. The clinic was so much fun, and the kids were so excited to be getting out fishing!

Front side of sturgeon

My interpretive contribution to the fishing clinic was this life-sized lake sturgeon. On the front side it is a drawing of a lake sturgeon. On the back there is ruler that people can use to see how they measure up against a 7’5″ sturgeon! There are also drawings of some of the things that sturgeon eat like, crawfish, snails, small fish, and mussels. Everyone was blown away that lake sturgeon can be that large, and they had a blast measuring themselves. I really enjoyed asking kids how long they thought the sturgeon was. I got a wide, wide variety of answers. My personal favorite was “20”. Just 20. 20 what? She wouldn’t tell me. 


[Hover over images to enlarge]

Back side of sturgeon

Kids fishing day

Booths set up at KBIC Kids Fishing Day

A few days after the fishing clinic, we had the KBIC Kids Fishing Day. We were one of many of the organizations attending. I got to walk around and meet members of the KBIC community that work in their fish hatchery. I also got to meet some of the members of the Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area program at Michigan Tech. I am hoping to participate in one of their boat cleaning days, and they taught me about some invasive species that I had never heard of! KBIC had fishing in their pond, and they also had a faux pond that they stocked with rainbow trout. There was food, games, and prizes! They do this event every year and I can tell that the community cherishes it a lot. I am so grateful to have been invited to participate. 

Fish ID guide and stickers

I made a fish ID game for this event. The games goes: you cast out into the “water” and catch a fish with the magnet. You reel it in and if you don’t know what it is already, read the back for clues. There is a guide that lists characteristics of each fish. The clues line up with the guide, and the fish can be identified by using the guide. Once you ID the fish, you get a sticker (thank you DNR).

This game was a huge hit, and all of the participants were excited to learn about the characteristics of each fish. There was good conversation while trying to ID each fish, and I really feel like each kid walked away learning something!

[Hover over images to enlarge]

Paper fish game on the ground

On the horizon

This desk may look messy, but its organized chaos. I swear… The end of June is almost here, and that means that most of the programs for the summer are right around the corner. We are about to be VERY busy here in the Keweenaw. 

Right now, we have 2 full day fishing clinics planned for the end of June. We are working with the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club to host this event. They will be instructing participants on the basics of fishing, and then I will be giving the POV: You’re a Sturgeon program (name still in progress… unless…). I will be teaching the kids about the history of the mining, logging, maritime travel, and fishing in the Keweenaw through the perspective of a sturgeon! I’ll show them historical images, and then we will talk about how they might have affected sturgeon/fish. Of course, our large sturgeon friend will be joining us.

Messy desk full of fishing materials
Person reading newspaper on Porcupine Mountains

I am also working on planning our Fishing Discovery and Fishing with a Ranger programs. Fishing Discovery programs go in depth about topics related to fishing, and Fishing with a Ranger programs give people an opportunity to fish in a place that they might not usually go. I have 2 of each in the books right now. The 1st is a program at Hanka Homestead, one of our Heritage Sites, and they are going to talk about how important fish are to the Finnish diet. Then, we will go fishing nearby at Otter Lake. The 2nd is at the Porcupine Mountains (nickname is the Porkies), and Fish & Wildlife will be doing one of their sea lamprey shows. The Porkies park staff will also be talking about how they deal with lamprey and other invasive species. We’ll then go fishing at their boat launch. 

I have 2 more of each program to plan. I am working on having the Coast Guard talk about how buoys have contributed to science and conservation. Algal blooms are another topic that I am super interested in because they are becoming more frequent in Lake Superior. I also met some of the DNR hatchery staff from Marquette, and I would love for them to come speak about how they stock the region. 

Check that off the list!

2 pelicans in Lake Superior
Black bear walking outside a window

I was able to check a bear off of my list of animals to see while up here! I was washing the dishes, looked up, and BOOM! At the KBIC Kids Fishing Day, there were two pelicans too. They are pretty uncommon in this area, so that made the day extra special!

Thanks for reading. Talk soon!

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.