It used to be a friendly, “let’s support the volunteer fire department,“ and go fishing for the weekend on Discovery Bay.
It was, in fact, the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, an excuse to get out the salmon gear from the last time you put a line in the saltwater in September, untangle the dreaded “bird’s nest,” grab a couple of six packs of adult beverage and go fishing for a weekend.
Then something happened that I still don’t understand and the friendly little salmon derby was discontinued for a year after a squabble between two groups.
Now the fishing event has resurfaced as the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, sponsored by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a state nonprofit corporation, and the little derby has grown from a few thousand bucks as cash prizes to a $10,000 first-prize event, with $5,000 for second, $2,000 for two other prizes and something called a $1,000 prize for a mystery fish.
The event runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday from daylight until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, daylight until noon Monday, and the derby area has grown from Port Ludlow all the way to Tongue Point and north to the Canada/U.S. border.
It’s so large, there are five weigh stations with derby tickets Saturday only: Freshwater Bay ramp, Ediz Hook ramp, John Wayne Marina, Gardiner Boat Ramp and Port Townsend Boat Haven.
All fish to be weighed must have a clipped fin and must be chinook/blackmouth at least
22 inches long. All fish will be returned to the angler to clean and take away. No fish on display.
All the rules are in a lime green brochure available at ticket locations, including Brian’s Sporting Goods in Sequim, Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles, Longhouse Market and Deli in Blyn and locations in Port Townsend, Brinnon, Seattle, Fife and Lynnwood.
It will take 500 entrants at $40 per pop to get enough money to cover the prizes and, although the organizers have some donated seed money, that’s a heck of a lot of sports salmon fishermen for a weekend.
The group putting on this event says the derby is precious to the community, supporting local health, safety, fellowship and well-being.
As a side note, the Port Angeles Salmon Club’s annual Halibut Derby still is on for Memorial Day weekend, but, what with seemingly tighter regulations on this fishery each year, this derby might be hung up as well in the future.
We could be headed for another Sequim and Port Angeles boys game if all goes well in the West Central District tournament.
Sequim’s cagey Wolves open against Renton at Foss High tonight at 6 p.m., then P.A. takes on Sumner at 8 p.m. (both games on KONP radio, 1450 AM, 102.1 FM and streaming live on www.KONP.com).
A Sequim wins puts them against Kingston at 6 p.m. Friday at Foss, and a P.A. win would see the Riders meeting Fife; wins there would pit the Riders and Wolves for state placing on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Sequim girls met Olympic last night and the winner gets Port Angeles on Thursday at Foss at 6 p.m. The losing teams wait until Saturday.
In both district events, 12 teams start with six making it to state.
Reach Scooter Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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