VALDEZ, Alaska – Anglers lined the shores of Allison Point this past weekend to catch pink salmon and many of them met success. Mike Waller of Easy Freeze said reports started coming in the last week of June that the pinks had arrived. “The pinks are in. They have been caught at Allison Point and I heard of one being caught behind the ballfields”. Last year at this time the first pinks were being caught at the narrows and beyond, but this year it appears they are a bit early. “The head of the run is definitely here”, Waller said.
According to Mike Wells of the Valdez Fisheries Development Association, the anticipated return of pink salmon to Port Valdez is 18.7 million. Typically the pink salmon are available the month of July and into August. There are a couple weeks in late July and early August in Valdez where anglers enjoy catching both pink salmon and silver salmon. More and more families are finding their way to Valdez to fish for pink salmon, halibut and silver salmon and the City of Valdez will celebrate the millions of pink salmon returning to Port Valdez with a Pink Salmon Festival Saturday, July 15th. The Pink Salmon Festival will include a cook-off as well as community events and games.
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is scheduled for Saturday, July 22nd. The Kids Derby is free and open to kids 5 to 16 years of age. Once again, there will be a free barbeque and prizes in four age divisions. Information about the Kids Pink Salmon Derby can be found by CLICKING HERE.
The Valdez Halibut Derby is going strong, however one angler found out how important it is to have a derby ticket. Derby Weigh-In Coordinator Dana Morales said and angler weighed in a 170.6 pound halibut but his witness did not have a derby ticket. If the fish was eligible for the derby, it would have moved into the 3rd place overall spot on the leader board. Rules for the Valdez Fish Derbies are posted online at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for August 12th with an opening ceremony Friday night August 11th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Adventures on the High Seas” and there will be a group costume contest Friday night as well as live music and awards for the top 50 on Saturday night. CLICK HERE for details on the Women’s Derby.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Tim Stadtmiller Fairbanks, AK 266.6 lbs. June 19 Dan Orion
2nd Daniel Schmitz Wasilla, AK 176.6 lbs. June 12 Jamie Lynn
3rd Lupe Gonzales Clint, TX 158.0 lbs. June 20 Halibut Grove
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – June 25th through July 1st
1st Dubber Zorza Fairbanks, AK 91.2 lbs. June 26 Amanda Rose
2nd Jessica Parks North Pole, AK 88.4 lbs. July 1 Nanutak