VALDEZ, Alaska – The Valdez Silver Salmon derby began Saturday and the largest fish weighed in so far is a 12.42 pound silver salmon caught by Weston Branshaw of Valdez aboard the High Mark. Amid the chaos of hundreds of kids weighing in pink salmon for the Kids Pink Salmon Derby, one young lady brought a silver salmon to the weigh-in. She did not have a derby ticket and her fish weighed in at more than 16 pounds. The young lady declined an interview, but did say she caught her big fish by Goose Island.
There are daily 1st and 2nd place prizes in the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby as well as a $15,000 first place prize. Branshaw took 1st place for opening day and Kim Keller was 2nd place for the day with a 12.04 pound silver she caught aboard the Alaskai. The fish are not yet to the narrows but are expected to make an appearance soon.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, Tim Stadtmiller of Fairbanks is still leading the way with the 266.6 pound halibut he caught June 19th. Weekly winners were Trent Gustafson of Fairbanks with a 152.4 pound halibut and Angel Seafler of Eagle River with a 141.2 pound halibut. Halibut anglers are doing well. Charters have been able to reach the fishing grounds and have been bringing back numerous rock fish and lingcod in addition to their halibut.
Lots of Pink Salmon are being caught in Valdez. The biggest pink salmon caught in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby this past Saturday was the biggest on record for the Kids Derby since it started in 2008. Alex Plowman of Fairbanks reeled in a 10.12 pound pink salmon to win his age division and make the record books. A detailed list of Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby Winners, Top 10 History and Pictures can be found on the Kids Derby Page of the Valdez Fish Derbies. The pinks will be around awhile for everyone to catch, but there are also some trout fisheries that have been fun for kids. Ruth Pond and Blueberry Lake were recently stocked with catchable size rainbow trout.
Valdez Fish Derbies is now gearing up for Silver Salmon Big Prize Friday and the 2017 Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Big Prize Friday is July 28th and the angler catching the largest silver salmon that day will win $500 in addition to the regular prizes. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is Saturday, August 12th with an opening event on Friday, August 11th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Adventures on the High Seas”. Valdez Fish Derbies Women’s Derby Page on the Valdez Fish Derbies website has all the information.
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 Hali Lombardi Valdez, AK 176.4 lbs. July 11 Amanda Rose
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Trent Gustafson Fairbanks, AK 152.4 lbs. July 17 Lena Claire
2nd Angel Seafler Eagle River, AK 141.2 lbs. July 17 Dan Orion
Silver Salmon Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Weston Branshaw Valdez, AK 12.42 lbs. July 22 High Mark
2nd Kim Keller Valdez, AK 12.04 lbs. July 22 Alaskai
3rd Scott Hicks Valdez, AK 11.40 July 22 Sound Affair