Ketchikan Youth Fishing, Harvesting, & Lifeskills Program


RYC has continued partnership with Baranof & Company to expand the Ketchikan Youth Fishing, Harvesting, and Life Skills program into the Fall, Winter, and Spring of 2021-2022 beginning December 2021 through May 2022. This program is FREE for youth in the community of Ketchikan and Saxman. The target population is youth aged ten to eighteen, although younger youth will not be excluded.

Thank you to Peace Health, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Community Foundation, and the Division of Behavioral Health for funding the Ketchikan Youth Fishing, Harvesting, and Life Skills program!

This program will teach youth some valuable life skills like how to fish for different species, identify and harvest local edible foods, and prepare the foods harvested. Baranof has created two field guides that cover all aspects of edible foods in Southeast Alaska. We believe that getting youth into the forest, exploring a tide pool, beachcombing, or catching a fish is the best way to educate, go back to basics, and create a sense of well-being.

RYC is confident in Baranof & Company's ability to inspire youth with the simple pleasures and lifestyle of exploring our wilderness while celebrating our culture of living off the land. These experiences will allow youth to explore their curiosities and educate them along the way and provide lasting social connections, experiences, and education that these youth will remember into adulthood.

Youth will have a chance to learn and identify species, develop skills on the water, and different encounters with marine life like Humpback and Orca Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises, Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, rockfish, salmon, halibut, lingcod, crab, shrimp, black cod, and octopus.They will learn fishing techniques like jigging, mooching, trolling, crab and shrimp pots, bottom fishing, knots, and navigation. Youth will explore tide pools, beach harvesting, fillet process, outdoor cooking, and chopping wood on the beach. At the Fish House, youth will learn how to prepare and preserve fish, berries, water safety, outboard maintenance, and experience animals living on or around the docks.

All Baranof guides are certified by the United States Coast Guard National Maritime Center and carry a Merchant Mariner's Credential. They are also First Aid/CPR certified and enrolled in the Tongass Maritime Consortium, meeting DOT/USCG random drug testing requirements.

Structure of the Ketchikan Youth Fishing, Harvesting, & Life Skills Fall, Winter, and Spring Program

 Experiences will take place on the weekends or school breaks
 Needs to be able to increase or decrease depending on scheduling, funding, and weather
 Each trip is 5-6 hours in length
 Weather and seasonality will determine a lot about what trip is best for a given day; flexibility will be necessary for delivering these experiences
 Baranof will handpick guides with the skill set and passion for running these trips successfully. These guides will receive training to support their execution of these experiences.
 Baranof will provide all youth and chaperones with the fishing gear and essential clothing (rain gear, socks, boots) needed for the experience
 All youth will need to come dressed for cold weather in layered clothing
 RYC and Community Partners will provide chaperones (staff) with each group of five (5) youth, transportation, fishing licenses to youth 18 years and older, additional first aid kits, and sack lunches and snacks
 There will be no cost to youth or chaperones
 Chaperones will be required to obtain their sport fishing licenses ​
 Community partners will coordinate with Brooke Avila, RYC Executive Administrative Assistant, to schedule fishing excursions or Alaska Fish House culinary experiences. Brooke's phone number is 907-617-6145, and her email address is for the program is

Gear Baranof will provide:
 Rain bibs
 Hooded Rain Jacket
 Rubber Boots
 Wool Socks
 Beanie
 Rubber Gloves
 Fishing Rod
 Tackle
 Bait

To bring on your Baranof Excursion:
 Winter clothing layers to wear under rain bibs
 Sunglasses
 Sack lunch, snacks, drink
 Mask

Items to leave at home:
 Sensitive electronics
 Things that cannot get wet

Below is a list of experiences Baranof & Co. will offer to youth participating in the Ketchikan Youth Fishing, Harvesting, and Lifeskills program throughout the fall, winter, and spring of 2021-2022.
1. Shrimping: 2 trips, one shorter trip to drop pots the night before, and then a longer trip to pull pots the following day.
2. Crabbing: Run to crab grounds, drop pots, and fish for a few hours before pulling the pots and returning to the dock.
3. Black Cod Fishing: Using electric reels to target species in very deep water (600 ft. +) requires calm weather conditions and slack tides.
4. Halibut Fishing: Bottom fishing from anchor using bait, with participants usually bringing home fish like halibut, pacific cod, rockfish, or other bottom fish. Since Cedars processing is closed, there may be an opportunity to teach filleting and vacuum packaging.
5. Rockfish Fishing with a Family Meal at the Alaska Fish House (owned and operated by Baranof & Co.: Target pelagic rockfish proceeding a meal prepared with the day's catch at The Alaska Fish House for youth and their immediate family.
6. Introduction to Boating Safety and Survival Outing: Land on a beach, build a fire, do a brief hike/tide pool to scavenge food, learn about and practice using emergency equipment.
7. Wildlife Identification & Photography Outing: Sightseeing by boat, look for bears, whales, seals, sea lions, eagles, possibly go ashore and check out landscapes and geology.
8. Canning Salmon at The Alaska Fish House: Youth will learn the process for pressure canning and go home with their finished product.
9. Blueberry Jam at The Alaska Fish House: Using organic blueberries, culinary staff will educate youth to craft preserves from native berries.
10: Rockfish Gyotaku Prints at The Alaska Fish House: Youth will learn the ancient art of fish prints and come home with their artwork.

Program Sponsor

Residential Youth Care

Last Updated

01/28/2022 11:57 pm

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Ketchikan123 is funded by Ketchikan Wellness Coalition through a Cigna Foundation grant and in part by its 3-year State of Alaska Comprehensive Behavioral Health Prevention and Early Intervention Services grant (602-207-20005).

 Ketchikan Wellness Coalition is funded in part by grants from the City of Ketchikan, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, individuals, foundations and non-profit organizations, corporate sponsors, and a State of Alaska grant (Reducing Recidivism 602-240-21005) and a Federal Government ONDCP grant (Drug-Free Communities grant SP020550).


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