10th Annual Fish Fair: We Are a Part of This Land

Salmon Runners share a day of fun while they honor the lives of Kalmath and Trinity River salmon. The Salmon Run correlates with the annual spring migration of spring run Chinook salmon and was organized 10 years ago by high school students. / Photos by Vonice Nelson, Two Rivers Tribune.

By Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune

A few short months before the Klamath Fish Kill of 2002, teachers at Hoopa Elementary School organized a community event in hopes of bringing awareness and a sense of stewardship to their students and their families.

Ten years later, the event has grown to include several campuses in the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District. This year, events will be held at Trinity Valley Elementary, Orleans Elementary, Hoopa High School and the event’s original site, Hoopa Elementary. Organizers are excited about a host of participants and presenters anticipated at the Fair on Friday, June 1.

A Native American drum group from Kansas will open the day’s events at Hoopa High School and Humboldt County Fifth District Supervisor, Ryan Sundberg will deliver an opening address. At Trinity Valley, renowned photographer, Thomas Dunklin will give a keynote address that highlights his underwater photography work.

“Our focus is predominantly education,” fair supporter, organizer and fish biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, Leroy Cyr said. “This is a great opportunity to come together and share our knowledge with the children so they can benefit from what’s happening around them.”

Cyr said the Fish Fair is a good place to plant seeds and spark the interest of students in their natural surroundings—a way to build stewards of the land through education about the land and its waters.

Teresa Cyr is a teacher at Hoopa Elementary School and has coordinated the organization of the fish fair for nearly a decade. She was passed the torch by her friend and colleague, the late Rhonda Marshall. Cyr said Marshall championed the first Fish Fair and left her a note before she passed asking Cyr to continue the fair as long as she could. Cyr plans to honor that request.

The fair is a collaborative event amongst the School District, the Americorps Watershed Stewardship Program, the U.S. Forest Service, local tribes, various government agencies and community members.

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