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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 20, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby draws huge turnout and better weather on second day

derby fish.jpg

This Sunday was the exact opposite of what anglers faced on Saturday during the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby.

On the first day of the derby harsh easterly winds kept many from getting out on the water although a fairly good number of hatchery chinook were caught.

However, “the weather was beautiful, and as good as it gets in the Strait (of Juan de Fuca),” said Dan Tatum, the derby president. “I heard the weather was supposed to be even better (Monday) on the final day of the derby.”

As of Sunday, 189 fish had been weighed-in – 108 of those were caught Feb. 20 – at the five boat ramp weigh-in stations in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca at Freshwater Bay, Port Angeles, Sequim, Gardiner, and Port Townsend.

Tatum says they sold 754 tickets for the derby.

Here is the current leader board: 1, Ray Lampers of Snohomish, 18.05 pound hatchery chinook weighed-in Sunday at Port Townsend ramp; 2, Doug Lux of Port Townsend, 17.35 weighed-in Saturday at Port Townsend ramp; 3, Gary Randall of Federal Way, 16.50 weighed-in Sunday at Gardiner ramp; 4, Darryl Sanfod of Sequim weighed-in Sunday at Sequim ramp; 5, Chris Hoff of Shelton, 14.05 weighed-in Saturday at Gardiner ramp; 6, Dave Gauthan of Sequim, 13.85 weighed-in Sunday at Gardiner ramp; 7, Gordon McDonald of Port Angeles, 11.95 weighed-in Sunday at Freshwater Bay ramp; 8, David Sanford of Sequim, 11.85 weighed-in Sunday at Sequim ramp; 9, McKenzie Nybeck of Edgewood, 11.65 weighed-in Sunday at Sequim ramp; 10, Mike Darrah of Lakewood, 11.55 weighed-in Sunday a Port Townsend ramp.

More than $22,000 in prizes are being offered, including a $10,000 first prize and second prize is $5,000. Mystery fish is worth $1,000.

This fishing derby was formerly the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, and is now hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a Washington nonprofit corporation that supports local emergency services and other community needs in the Gardiner and Diamond Point areas.

The event is part of the NMTA’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series, which promotes many fishing events in the area.

Some anglers not happy about Area 9

This was an interesting headline that was posted on the salmon derby’s web site tonight that caught my attention.

Take a look at what was posted below:

There have been some heated words about the derby’s decision to accept fish from the lower part of Area 9. This was a last-minute change in the rules, which was announced here on the website on Wednesday, Feb. 17 (before the derby).

Some anglers are angry that this was not more widely known (even some of the derby volunteers were unaware of it). They say that they would have chosen to fish “down there” and then haul their fish to Port Townsend for weighing.

All we can say is: We’re all volunteers, trying to provide a fun and fair fishing event. One way or the other, some people were going to be unhappy. We decided to make this change as a compromise to deal with a different problem: People living in Kitsap wanted to be able to fish in their local area before heading up to P.T. for weighing. They asked “why prevent me from fishing until I reach the boundary?” The derby association decided that there wasn’t a good reason to say ‘you can’t do that’ – there was nothing magic about the original boundary line.

Frankly, we are surprised that so many people are willing to take their boats so far to submit fish. There has never been any thought of adding southern weigh stations or doing other things to spread into the Kitsap area. We thought this relaxation of the boundary would only be of interest to a few anglers in special circumstances.

Oh well. Next year, this issue will get carefully considered before the brochures are printed. There’s always something. The derby has been going very well, and so we hope this rough edge hasn’t disappointed many people.

(Photo courtesy of the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby)

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