The Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby will be Feb. 16-18 in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, and hatchery chinook fishing has been good.
“We’ve had continued good fishing reports since the Dec. 1 opening in Areas 6 and 7, and good fishing reports from Area 9 since the Jan. 16 opening,” said Dan Tatum, President of Gardiner Salmon Derby Association. “I’ve caught quite a few myself. It should be a great derby.”
The derby covers 500 square miles of fishing ground with five weigh stations and a $10,000 first place prize for the largest salmon.
The derby is hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a nonprofit corporation that supports area emergency and other services, and is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series.
Cost is $40 for one day or $42.50 online. Tickets can be purchased online until Wednesday, Feb. 13.
The weigh stations include Freshwater Bay, Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, John Wayne Marina in Sequim, Gardiner, and Port Townsend Boat Haven.
The awards ceremony will be held 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18 at the Gardiner boat ramp, and the free BBQ begins at 11 a.m.
Last year, strong winds and unsettled weather tested derby anglers who had a total of 217 winter hatchery chinook averaging 8.44 pounds.
The first prize of $10,000 went to John Otness of Tacoma for a 17.60 pound salmon.
For details, visit the Gardiner Salmon Derby wesbite.
(Photo courtesy of the Gardiner Bay Salmon Derby Association, and pictured is winner John Otness of Tacoma.)