All the spots have been filled in the Resurrection Derby that will be held on Dec. 5-6 at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Last year, 75 teams managed to catch 200 fish, and the largest was caught by Bob Norling that weighed 15.67 pounds and he along with teammates Steve Grey and Mark Schinman took home the top prize of $10,000.
What makes this derby interesting is the data that state Fish and Wildlife manages to collect, and it always amazing to see how far a salmon can travel.
The data collected by state fisheries is from coded wire tags (CWT) implanted into the snouts of chinook at the hatchery before they’re released into the marine areas of Puget Sound region.
At the derby, all the fish caught are wanded and documented by checkers after weigh in. This provides vital information on these hatchery salmon, their origins and life cycle.
In the 2013 derby, a total of 84 boats with 251 anglers had 185 chinook sampled with a 15.1 percent of them having a CWT.
Of the 28 chinook with a CWT, seven fish originated from Cascade River’s Marblemount Hatchery located on the Skagit River system.
Here is a breakdown on the rest of the CWT fish:
Two chinook came from the Cowichan and Chillwack rivers in British Columbia; three came from the Wallace River Hatchery on the Skykomish River; three from the Minter Creek Hatchery on the White River in southern Puget Sound; four from the Stillaguamish Hatchery on the Stillaguamish River; two from Kendall Creek Hatchery on the Nooksack River; two from Friday Creek Hatchery on Samish River; one from Bernie Gobin Hatchery on Wallace River; and one from Icy Creek Hatchery on Big Soos Creek.
Three of the chinook checked were of unknown origin. The majority of the fish caught last year were from the 2010 broodstock year; eight from 2011; and two from 2009.
In 2011, one wayward chinook came all the from the Similkameen River, which is located hundreds of miles up the Columbia River near the Canadian border by Oroville. That Similkameen chinook released as a little smolt in 2008 would’ve swam down the Columbia River, out into the Pacific Ocean and then into the San Juan Island region by 2011.
That is a long ways from home!