On the final day of the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, anglers were greeted with another perfect weather day on the water, and the fishing was decent for hatchery chinook.
“We were really happy with the derby’s outcome, and heard a lot of good compliments from people,” said Dan Tatum, the derby president. “The majority of fish came out of the Port Angeles area.”
For three days, 248 fish had been weighed-in 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 757 tickets for the derby.
The prize ladder consisted of 34 fish, and the smallest prize-winner was 11 pounds, with an average prize-winning weight of 13.2 pounds.
The first prize of $10,000 (plus $250 for the biggest fish on Saturday) went to Rob Schmidt of Sequim who caught his winning 18.90 pound hatchery chinook downrigger trolling off Protection Island. The winning fish was hooked right off the bottom.
Second place of $5,000 went to Ray Lampers of Snohomish with 18.05 pounder; he also got a bonus $200 (donated by Dick and Bev Howe) for the biggest fish on Sunday. Third place of $1,500 went to Mike Thacker of Chimacum for a 17.35 pounder.
Doug Lux, who caught the first fish of the derby, took the $500 fourth prize plus the bonus $200 (donated by Port Townsend Salmon Club) for the biggest fish on Saturday. The fifth big fish, at 16.50 pounds, was caught by Gary Randall of Federal Way.
The event was hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, and proceeds support local emergency services and other important community needs. The derby is part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, run by the Northwest Marine Trade Association.