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Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
May 2008

The Return of the Fishmobile
Mobile Classroom on Summer Tour

By Tracy Smith
caption follows
Tying a fishing fly in the mobile aquatic classroom.

This is the sixth year for the Mobile Aquatic Classroom, known as MAC, operated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Sport Fish. The MAC travels state wide via the highway and marine highway system on a rotating schedule. Last summer the mobile classroom visited Cooper Landing for Skilak Lake Sampling, the Kenai River Festival in Soldotna, the Campbell Creek Youth Fishing Day in Anchorage, the Copper River Wild Festival in Cordova, the Youth Fishing Days in Homer and Seward, the Seward Silver Salmon Derby in Seward, and the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.

The MAC offers a wide variety of displays and hands-on activities that vary with each community it visits. Displays range from aquariums with live fish, aquatic invertebrates, tide pool touch tanks, adult fish identification, fishing gear setups, plankton under microscopes and compound scopes and educational videos on the 42” flat screen TV.
Hands on activities include knot tying, making your own rigging, fly tying, fish printing on t-shirts, stream sampling, saber tooth salmon hat coloring activity, caring for your catch, how to pickle pike and how to can & smoke fish.

caption follows
A youngster watches aquatic larvae in the fishmobile.

The MAC paint job is 3D, and 3D glasses are available for visitors to check out the amazing paint job, which was hand painted by Hermanos Huachinango (also known as the “Rockfish Brothers”) Alaskan artists Ray Troll and Carla Potter and San Diego artists Roberto Salas and Guillermo Jauregui.

The summer 2008 schedule includes:

May 17: Kids Fishing Day - Seward
June 2: Aquatic Education Day - Juneau
June 7: Kids Fishing Day - Prince of Wales
June 14: Kids Fishing Day - Ketchikan
June 28: Campbell Creek Kids Fishing Day - Anchorage
July 10 – 13: Copper River Wild Festival - Cordova
July 19: Governors Picnic - Anchorage
August 2: Kids Fishing Day - Homer
August 16: Silver Salmon Derby - Seward
August 22: Kids Day at the State Fair - Palmer
September 9: Skilak Lake Sampling - Cooper Landing

caption follows
Learning about invertebrates. All photos by Tracy Smith.

Tracy Smith is the trucker/educator with the mobile aquatic classroom. She is an education associate with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Sport Fish, based in Anchorage. In addition to the Mobile Aquatic Classroom, Smith also coordinates the Southcentral Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshops and other Southcentral regional aquatic education activities.


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