VALDEZ, Alaska – A Pink Salmon Festival complete with games, cooking competition and community barbeque kicked off the 4th of July weekend in Valdez on Saturday. Construction crews have been working in downtown Valdez, but work was halted for the Pink Salmon Festival Saturday and the 4th of July festivities on Monday. While many chose to visit the many events put on by the City of Valdez around town, it was a busy weekend for fishing as well. Halibut angling was productive and anglers were excited about the opening of the lingcod season July 1st, however pink salmon fishing looks to be a bit slow getting started.
Several charter captains have seen pink salmon, but they are past the narrows. With an estimated return of 17.1 million pink salmon to Port Valdez, Captains are confident they will be readily available to catch close to Valdez for the Kids Pink Salmon Derby slated for Saturday, July 23rd.
CLICK HERE for more information about the Kids Pink Salmon Derby. According to Alaska Department of Fish and Game, shrimping continued to be productive throughout the Sound. Anglers are reporting successful pulls at depths ranging from 350 to 650 feet.
Blueberry Lake and Ruth Pond were both stocked with catchable size rainbow trout last week by Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Blueberry Lake is 24 miles north of Thompson Pass and Ruth Pond is just upland from the Kelsey Dock in town.
The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is slated for August 13th with an opening ceremony Friday night August 12th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Country Western” 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.
David Jamison of Fairbanks is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 253 pound halibut he caught May 29th aboard the Nanatuk. Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, LA is currently in 2nd place overall with a 174.4 pound halibut he caught June 16th aboard the Dan Orion and Donald Horrell of Anchorage, Alaska is currently in 3rd place with the 169.6 pound halibut he caught July 2nd aboard the Dan Orion.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st David Jamison Fairbanks, AK 253.0 lbs. May 29 Nanatuk
2nd Jeff Leaverton Madisonville, LA 174.4 lbs. June 16 Dan Orion
3rd Donald Horrell Anchorage, AK 169.6 lbs. July 2 Dan Orion
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – Week #7
1st Donald Horrell Anchorage, AK 169.6 lbs. July 2 Dan Orion
2nd David Towne Valdez, Alaska 156.8 lbs. July 1 Amanda Rose