The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is introducing students from the Anchorage School District to ice fishing on Jewel Lake this week. Kids from about 30 schools will visit for one-hour sessions to give it a try on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to fisheries biologist Brittany Blain-Roth.
Jewel Lake was recently stocked with about 2,000 king salmon, Blain-Roth said. There are also rainbow trout in the lake. Kids used shrimp on small hooks to try to catch them with jig sticks using dozens of holes drilled into the ice.
“We love the reaction,” Blain-Roth said. “Some of these kids tell us, you’ll hear them say they’ve never been out fishing before.”
Though fishing was slow Tuesday morning, Blain-Roth said she hopes the experience will spark the kids’ interest in returning to try again. Jewel Lake will also be the site of the 34th annual Ice Fishing Jamboree on Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. That event, hosted by the Bait Shack, hosts community members of all ages to give ice fishing a try.