Derby News – Week 15, 8/24-8/31
VALDEZ, Alaska – There were not many changes on the leader board the last week of the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby or the Halibut Derby in Valdez. In the Silver Salmon Derby, a contender came in late August 28th that was two tenths of a pound shy of knocking Amanda Towne out of 1st place. Towne reeled in a 17.54 pound silver during the Women’s Derby August 9th and Paul Williams of Eagle River brought in a 17.52 pound silver on August 28th. Towne owns the distinction of being the only Women’s Silver Salmon Derby winner to also win the $15,000 cash prize in the silver derby. Williams won 2nd place and $5,000 for the fish he reeled up aboard the Silly Billy II. Greg Ledsworth of Tamarac, Florida took 3rd place in the silver derby with the 17.50 pound silver he caught from shore August 25th. The Big Prize Friday $500 winner was Nathen Ward of Fairbanks who reeled in a 14.08 pound silver August 29th aboard the Mayhem.
In the Valdez Halibut Derby, it was Scott Hebig’s 203.6 pound halibut that hung on for the 1st place $15,000 cash prize. Hebig caught his 203.6 pound halibut June 20th aboard the Amanda Rose. James McQuain of Fairbanks finished 2nd in the halibut derby with a 171.6 pound halibut he caught July 25th aboard the Dawn Treader and Jeff Maurer of Elysburg, Pennsylvania took 3rd place with the 171.4 pound halibut he caught July 17th aboard the Dawn Treader. Hebig’s halibut is the smallest halibut on record to win the Valdez Derbies, with the exception of the years when the Chamber of Commerce held a target weight derby. In 2013, the winner of the $15,000 first place prize weighed in at 325 pounds. In 2014, the 1st place winner had a fish weighing 335.7 pounds; in 2013 the winner tipped the scales at 277.2.
Every derby ticket purchased in the Valdez Derbies gives the buyer a chance to win a Ford F-150 4×4 truck from Valdez Fish Derbies and Seekins Ford. This year’s winner was T.C. Greene of Valdez. The Captain’s Prize of $500 was awarded to Dave Towne of Valdez aboard the Amanda Rose for both the halibut and silver salmon derby. Judy Bartlett sold the winning Halibut Derby ticket at the weigh-in shack and won the $500 ticket seller prize. Janis Johnson and Susie Koklich sold the winning silver derby ticket at the Prospector and will split the $500 ticket seller prize.
Valdez Halibut Derby Overall Leaders
Weekly Winners – Week 13