It's not unusual for schools to go directly to the public to raise money. Parents and friends are used to seeing kids show up at the front door selling everything from chocolate bars to Christmas wreaths to support extracurricular programs for schools but when it comes to creative fundraising efforts the unique Astoria High School Aquatic Biology program has perhaps the perfect way to raise money and highlight the program at the same time.
This will be the third year for the program to sponsor a fishing derby at Coffenbury Lake at Fort Stevens State Park using specially tagged rainbow trout raised by students in the program's school hatchery. Teacher Lee Cain says "Fisheries Technology is the culminating class in a two-year Aquatic Biology Program which is a one-of-a-kind in the western US. Because of its hands-on, real-world approach to learning, the projects and field trips we carry out require materials and expenses above what our current Science department budget can cover, so fund raising is a necessity."
Lee says the lake will be stocked with 70 trout and each will have a color tag and those who purchase a derby ticket for $10 at the lake the day of the event April 20th will have the opportunity to pick up prizes for the tagged fish they catch. Lee says of the fish raised by the students "Some of these fish look more like salmon than trout and are real hogs!"
Prizes include a charter steelhead fishing trip and other prizes supplied by a large number of local sponsors who support the program. Tickets for the Derby will be available at the lake begining at 7am and the Derby ends at 5pm