Tickets are now on sale for the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby that will be held on Feb. 20-22, a change from past seasons when it was held during Presidents Day Weekend.
The derby covers more than 500 square miles of salmon fishing grounds, five weigh stations and a $10,000 prize for the largest fish.
Tickets cost $40 with sales ending Feb. 18, and no tickets will be sold during the derby. The awards ceremony will be held Feb. 22 at the Gardiner boat launch at 3 p.m.
Last year’s derby was held during terrible weather with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph, which greatly cut down on the catches. Anglers weighed-in 171 fish over six pounds, and the average weight was 8.6 pounds.
In 2013 a record catch of 249 were reeled-in by anglers, and the 2014 derby catch was about the same recorded in 2011 but less than the 217 in 2012.
First place went to Larry Quesnell of Mt. Vernon with a 15.4 pound hatchery chinook; second was Jay Campbell of Port Townsend with a 15.25; and third was Geoffrey Cobb of Port Angeles with a 14.25.
The derby is part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series hosted by the Northwest Marine Trade Association. All derby ticket holders are entered in the NMTA’s end-of-year grand prize boat drawing. For derby details, go to www.GardinerSalmonDerby.org.