Fishing event sets 'Classic' example

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The 12th annual Kenai River Classic was once again a great success in bringing together more than 200 participants and VIPs from across the country in the effort to raise funds to sustain and protect one of the greatest sportfishing rivers in the world, the Kenai.

This year the Classic generated more than $1 million in revenue through participant fees, sponsorships and auction proceeds. More than $300,000 went directly into the local economy through Classic expenses, such as accommodations, food, guides, tours and transportation. As always, Classic proceeds will assist our program efforts and endowment fund in habitat rehabilitation, fishery conservation and public aquatic education.

The great strides we have made over the last decade in protecting this magnificent resource would not be possible without broad community support. Kenai River Sportfishing Association would like to thank the tremendous effort put forth by the legion of more than 100 dedicated volunteers who make the Kenai River Classic an annual success. Through their continuing dedication, the Classic has become one of the largest volunteer driven fund-raising events of its kind in the country. Many thanks also go to the many local businesses and individuals who generously donate their services and auction items to the Classic.

Results from the two day fishing event include: Peter Davidson of Verizon won the Ted Stevens Champion Angler award for most total points; Mark Hanley of Anadarko took home the Classic "Catch and Release" award for his release hog of 51 inches; Mary Arnold of SAP America won the Classic "Queen of the River" award for her catch of 58 pounds; Kenai River guide Brad Adams won top guide honors with the Yamaha Champion Guide award, with Ron Weilbacher taking second place and Boo Kandas in third.

During the two days of morning fishing, 161 kings were caught, with 56 being kept and 105 released.

The participants who come from across the country had rave reviews about our community, Alaska and the warmth and hospitality we are known for. Many of the new participants this year were not only making plans to return to the Classic next year, but also how to extend their stay in order to explore the rest of state.

The Kenai River Classic is a signature event for Alaska, and our community can take pride in the many people who make this event possible and such a success.

Ricky Gease, Executive director, Kenai River Sportfishing Association

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