VALDEZ, Alaska – Chris Milles of Melbourne, Florida is still on top of the leader board in the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 150-pound halibut he caught May 28th aboard Halibut Grove. Kamille Mulcaire of Fairbanks, who won the Halibut Hullabaloo, is currently in 2nd place overall with the 149.8-pound halibut she caught June 9th aboard the Six Gun and Jason Waller of Fairbanks made it to 3rd place on the leaderboard with the 136.8-pound halibut he caught June 13th aboard the Patriot. Waller ended up winning the weekly 1st place prize in the Valdez Halibut Derby and Jessica Kerr of Salcha won the 2nd place weekly prize with a 106-pound halibut she caught Jun 12th aboard Bluff Watch.
Pink Salmon are expected to be available by 4th of July weekend and should be in Port of Valdez for the Annual Kids Pink Salmon Derby. While pinks can likely be caught July 4th weekend, there’s a Kids Pink Salmon Derby in Valdez Saturday, July 23rd when the fish are heavier in the Port.
Valdez Fish Derbies will be giving away free hats for kids age 5 to 16 between 6am and 10am Saturday morning, July 23rd. To enter the Kids Pink Salmon Derby, kids just need to get a hat, take a picture that includes a pink salmon, one child and the hat (either on the kid or the fish!) and upload it to valdezfishderbies.com. Winners will be chosen at random for one of four $100 cash prizes or one of eight fishing poles. Visit https://www.valdezfishderbies.com/kids-derby/ for more information. The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is free and there will be a live radio show on KVAK 93.3FM and 1230AM Saturday, July 23rd from 5pm to 6pm to announce the winners. KVAK Kids Broadcasting Camp participants will be emceeing the Kids Derby Radio Show and there will be giveaways exclusively for kids 5 to 16. The big radio prize is 10 pounds of jelly bellies. Information and winners will be posted on www.valdezfishderbies.com
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts July 23rd, the same day as the Kids Derby, so anglers wanting a great family trip can fish for both pinks and silvers in the same weekend. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for August 13th.
While the halibut derby is going strong, anglers looking to dipnet on the Copper River got some bad news this week from Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Effective June 20th Chinita personal use dipnetters will no longer be allowed to keep a king salmon in the dipnet fishery. Additionally, sport fishing for king salmon in all waters of the Copper River drainage upstream of Haley Creek, which includes the Gulkana and Klutina Rivers, will be restricted to catch-and-release only effective 12:01am Monday, June 20th.