More than 200 corporate leaders and policy makers including six U.S. senators and members of the Bush administration caught a total of 97 king salmon, releasing 41, at this year's Kenai River Classic. Now in its 14th year, the classic raised $1 million this weekend to be used for habitat restoration, fisheries management, research and education.
"This year the event went great," said Ricky Gease, executive director for the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. In order to accommodate the participants, who paid $4,000 each to attend the event, more than 200 volunteers housed and fed them, offered transportation to and from the airport as well as fishing tours. "It's amazing the depth and the strength of our community volunteers who participate with us, making sure it's a top-quality event," he said.
The Kenai River Classic also recognized the 10 recipients of the Caring for the Kenai scholarship as well as four winners of the Senator Ted Stevens Scholarship. The Stevens award is a full scholarship to the University of Alaska and was awarded to Carlise Eck, Kay Larson-Blair, Carlene Miller and Simeon Smith.
Awards also were presented to Clayton Walker, general manager of Greens Creek Mining Company, for accumulating the most points for fish caught; Sue Zager of Chevron won the "Queen of the Kenai" award for her 53-pound king, the largest king caught at the event; and Bob Penny of Panco won the catch and release award for his 43-inch fish.
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