City Park Kids Fishing Derby – Deer Mountain Hatchery

City Park Kids Fishing Derby

June 8, 2019 – Saturday

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Normally the City Park Kids Fishing Derby occurs the Saturday before Father’s Day, in 2019 it will be held the week before on Saturday, June 8th.  The Derby is a cooperative effort between the United States Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish & Game and SSRAA.  SSRAA will be providing approximately 1,600 Chinook this year in excess of 100 grams.  How big is 100 grams?  100 grams is about a 1/4lb or a “catchable” by stocking standards.

There is a difference this year compared to previous years we provided fish for the Derby.  This year all the fish will be large, maybe not as large as some of the 2-check or 3 year old fish from last year but they will be big, they look good and should put up a good fight on light tackle.

It can be hard to rear a chinook for almost two full years after emergence, especially when you are pushing to grow them.  Most times the fish will smolt and really want to outmigrate into saltwater.  When they aren’t given the chance they have to reverse the processes that prepare them for that transition so they can remain in freshwater and this stress can lead to disease or their larger size can lead to early maturation.  By manipulating water temperature we were able to heat the water, increase metabolism and really grow some large smolt within one year of emergence from incubators.  If we hadn’t had warm water a large fish might only be 50-60grams.

The Derby will once again see changes in 2021 as a new triploid trout program slated for 2020 will allow us to substitute rainbow trout for chinook.  Triploids are often used in areas where establishing a population or breeding with a native population is undesirable or where you want to provide a trophy fishing opportunity.  Triploids are incapable of producing gametes so they put all their energy towards growing.  It is our hope we can grow trout larger than we have been able to do so with the chinook and because the trout don’t want to go to saltwater they won’t be subjected to the same stresses.  Our triploid program will be larger than just stocking the ponds of City Park, we will also be stocking Carlanna and Harriet Hunt lakes with a total of 50,000 fry with a few catchable mixed in.  We hope that in the near future the Derby will merely be an appetizer to get people excited about increased fishing opportunity in local area lakes.