VALDEZ, Alaska – Anthony Cunningham of Valdez, Alaska caught his 14.28 pound derby winning silver salmon from shore Saturday. Cunningham took home a 1st place daily prize and is currently in 1st place overall in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby. Stephanie Wenner of Valdez, Alaska is currently in 2nd place overall for the derby and she also caught her derby winning fish from shore on Saturday. Wenner’s fish weighed in at 13.68 pounds. Michael Kropushek of Fort Wainwright caught a 13.56 pound silver August 3rd aboard the Seaclusion.
Valdez Fish cutter Pal Olson said he cleaned only four silver salmon last week but his count last Friday afternoon was up to 48 salmon. “It seems the majority of fish we’re seeing are being caught from shore with pixies and spinners,” Olson said. “They’re inside the harbor, over at Allison Point, right out front of Mineral Creek. They are catching them at Wessels Reef, Knowles Head, Patton Bay and Some at Good. Not many at Blight (Island) yet”.
Some very nice fish have come into Port Valdez and won weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes, but no one has been able to break into the overall standings. David Jamison of Fairbanks is still in the lead in the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 253.0 pound halibut he caught May 29th aboard the Nanatuk. Kim Steiger of Westchester, PA is currently in 2nd place with the 211.0 pound halibut she caught July 5th aboard Halibut Grove and Jeff Leaverton of Madisonville, LA is hanging onto 3rd place with a 174.4 pound halibut he caught June 16th aboard the Dan Orion.
Travis Conway of Fairbanks was just shy of breaking into the overall standings with a 165.2 pound halibut he caught aboard the Lady Luck August 5th. Conway won the weekly 1st place prize and Daniel Rady of Fairbanks took 2nd place for the week with a 154.3 pound halibut he caught August 1st aboard the Bold Eagle.
The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is this Saturday with an opening ceremony Friday night. Last year Katrina Church Chmielowski of Glennallen, Alaska won the Derby and was crowned Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood with a 14.24 pound silver salmon. In 2014, Amanda Towne of Valdez reeled in a 17.54 pound fish to win the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Her fish also held on throughout the end of the regular Silver Salmon Derby and her fish won her the $15,000 first place prize.
The largest silver salmon caught in the Women’s Derby was an 18.84 pound silver caught by Betty Valdes of Eagle River in 2010. Registration is currently underway for the Women’s Derby upstairs in the new Prospector building on Egan Drive. The theme this year is “Country Western” and there will be a group costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. CLICK HERE to visit the Women’s Derby registration page at www.valdezfishderbies.com.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st David Jamison Fairbanks, AK 253.0 lbs. My 29 Nanatuk
2nd Kim Steiger Westchester, PA 211.0 lbs. July 5 Halibut Grove
3rd Jeff Leaverton Madisonville, LA 174.4 lbs. June 16 Dan Orion
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Travis Conway Fairbanks, AK 165.2 lbs. Aug 5 Lady Luck
2nd Daniel Rady Fairbanks, AK 154.3 lbs. Aug 1 Bold Eagle
Silver Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Anthony Cunningham Valdez, AK 14.28 lbs. Aug 6 from Shore
2. Stephanie Wenner Valdez, AK 13.68 lbs. Aug 6 from Shore
3. Michael Kropushek Ft. Wainwright, AK 13.56 lbs. Aug 3 Seaclusion