VALDEZ, Alaska – Dianne Marshall of Fairbanks, Alaska made her way to the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station Saturday to weigh-in the first silver salmon in the Valdez Derby amid the charming chaos of the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby. More than 350 kids made the trek to the weigh-in station Saturday to get a free t-shirt and pose with their catch for the one-day Kids Pink Salmon Derby event. “I just bought the tickets (Derby Ticket) to have some fun and see what we could get,” said Marshall. After catching the “kick-off” fish of the derby, Marshall shared fishing advice to live by, “Be patient, have fun, enjoy.” Marshall enjoyed her day fishing but by the end of the day, it was Crista Anderson of Valdez who took home the 1st place daily prize and the top spot in the overall standings.
Anderson brought in a 9.25 pound silver she caught aboard the Crista June. Grace Keller of Valdez won the 2nd place daily prize in the Silver Derby with a 9.22 pound silver salmon she caught aboard the Alaskai. Keller, soon to be a senior at Valdez High School, was fishing with her Mother, grandfather and her younger sister Ginger. Ginger won 1st place in the 14 to 16 year age division of the Kids Pink Salmon Derby with a 5.78 pink salmon. While she was being interviewed by KVAK, Ginger commented, “I just want to do a shout out – thank you Grandpa Wayne for taking me out fishing. And I love you”. Ginger not only caught a fish, she was also part of the KVAK Kids Club broadcasting team that acted as emcee’s for the Kids Derby Awards Ceremony. When asked to reveal a tip about fishing she responded, “Just have fun and be grateful that you’re actually catching fish.”
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby runs through September 1st and has daily 1st and 2nd place prizes, as well as a $10,000 Grand prize for the largest fish caught during the season. The cost of a daily derby ticket is $10 and a season ticket is $50.
The Valdez Halibut Derby is going strong and boats are still returning to Port Valdez with nice catches of halibut, lingcod and other bottom fish. Now that silver season has started many charters are picking up silver salmon also on their way back to town. Christine Ives of Fairbanks Alaska is leading the halibut derby with a 385.6 pound halibut. Valdez Fish Derbies is now gearing up for Silver Salmon Big Prize Friday and the 2019 Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Big Prize Friday is July 26th 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 10th with an opening event on Friday, August 9th. The theme of this year’s Women’s Derby is “Pajama Party”. The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby Page on the Valdez Fish Derbies website has all the information.
Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Christine Ives Fairbanks, AK 285.6 lbs. June 6 Nunatak
2nd Christopher Barnes Moorhead, MN 225.6 lbs. June 24 Sea Quester
3rd Matt Janezic Duluth, MN 203.4 lbs. June 28 Bold Eagle
Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners
1st Kurt Gremley Tampa, FL 176.8 lbs. July 18 The Reflection
2nd Robert Dooley Eielson AFB, AK 129.6 lbs. July 18 Straydog
Silver Salmon Derby – Overall Leaders
1st Crista Anderson Valdez, AK 9.26 lbs. July 20 Crista June
2nd Grace Keller Valdez, AK 9.22 lbs. July 20 Alaskai