VALDEZ, Alaska – Anglers are catching their limit of Silver Salmon out of Valdez in just a few hours right now which is a welcome sight for those who suffered through a poor silver salmon run last year. “Fishing for silvers has been great”, exclaimed Barb Amundsen of the charter boat Chinook as she returned to Port Valdez “So much better than last year.”
People are catching silvers from the narrows all the way into the City Dock and anglers coming home with a full limit seem to be trolling 30 to 50 feet. It looks like it might be a banner year for silver salmon in Valdez, but the pink salmon are also making a showing in Valdez. In fact, Alaska Department of Fish & Game posted the following on their website, “Pink salmon have shown up in Valdez in big big numbers ….consequently ADF&G has issued an emergency order liberalizing the bag and possession limits. Effective Wednesday, July 29th, daily bag limits for pink salmon in the Port of Valdez marine waters are 12 fish with 24 in possession”.
The leader of the Valdez Silver Salmon Derby is Andy Eiman of Valdez with a 14.68 pound silver he caught aboard the Andy Anna. Chris Watson of Valdez is currently in 2nd place overall with a 14. 16 pound silver he caught aboard the Snow Bear and Bonnie Woods of Valdez is holding onto 3rd place overall with a 13.90 pound silver she caught aboard Angry Woody.
Although the Valdez Halibut Derby leaderboard has not changed the last week, the weekly winners continue to be in the 100 pound range. It is commonplace to see charters coming back to Port with Halibut, Ling Cod, Rockfish and Silver Salmon. Fred Hyder of Willow Alaska is leading the halibut derby with a 253.8 pound halibut he caught July 10th aboard the Jaime Lynn.
The Women’s Silver Salmon Derby is this Saturday with an opening ceremony Friday night. Last year, Amanda Towne of Valdez won the Derby and was crowned Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood with a 17.54 pound fish. Towne’s fish won her cash and prizes in the Women’s Derby and also netted her $15,000 cash at the end of the season as the 1st place winner in the Overall Silver Salmon Derby. 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 “Super Heroes” and there will be a costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year.