The Kiwanis Club will host the Kiwanis Salmon Derby from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday at the mouth of the Buskin River, where volunteers will grill and sell salmon burgers, hot dogs, and hamburgers for participants and their families.
The salmon derby will be “a fun, family event for all the community,” said Drew DeVries, event organizer and president of the Kodiak Kiwanis Club. “We really enjoy seeing families out there.
“I walked the banks (of the Buskin River) last weekend and there’s lots of pink salmon at the mouth right now,” he said.
The salmon derby is for youth who have experience fishing, as well as those wanting to learn.
“It seems like every year we get a couple handful of kids and families that have never fished before. We count on a lot of volunteers to help clear foul hooks, help teach them outdoor life,” DeVries said.
For participants who do not want to invest in fishing rods, there are usually extra ones lying around, he added.
Other equipment such as safety glasses and hooks are available for a $2 donation.
Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each age group as well as a grand prize winner, who will win a bicycle donated by 58 Degrees North.
Although the prizes are incentives for participants to fish, the goal of the event is not about winning, it’s about “getting the kids and families together on the beach having fun,” DeVries said.
“I really like seeing the Coasties and the community integrate,” he said.
The Kiwanis Salmon Derby was created 25 years ago by the Kodiak chapter of the Kiwanis Club, which is one of this nonprofit’s worldwide chapters that serves children’s needs through local service projects.
Fish caught during the event will be donated to a local charity such as the Brother Francis Shelter, DeVries said.
The salmon derby is made possible by volunteers such as the Chief Petty Officers Association, Key Club, Lions Club, and more. DeVries said stores such as Safeway, Walmart, Big Ray’s, 58 Degrees North and NAOAa among others also help out.
“It’s just a fun event where people can get out there in the community and have fun. The prizes are secondary when the family is out together,” DeVries said.