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Salmon derby sets top prize at $10,000
Tickets are now on sale for the 2014 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby.
This year’s event is set for on Presidents Day Weekend, Feb. 15-17.
As in previous years, the 2014 event’s scope is huge, including 500 square miles of fishing, five weigh stations, a $10,000 first prize and four great $500 “Mystery Fish” prizes.
This event, formerly the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, is hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that supports area emergency and other services.
This winter’s blackmouth classic is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s “Northwest Salmon Derby Series.”
Dan Tatum, president of Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, said he is excited about the 2014 event.
“Each year we seem to do a little better,” Tatum said. “Last year, we had 351 fish submitted – what a great derby! There just isn’t a better way to spend Presidents Day weekend than fishing on the Olympic Peninsula.”
Last year, derby proceeds funded equipment for a local volunteer fire station and upgraded local emergency response facilities. The 2014 event and future derby proceeds will be used for similar purposes.
Tatum reports some rule changes for this year.
“In earlier years, we only allowed one fish per person on the ladder,” he said. “We’ve removed that restriction – if you catch two prize winners, you win two prizes. There are always lots of great prizes.”
(There were 45 prizes on last year’s ladder, most donated by area businesses and residents.)
Another rule change has to do with the “Mystery Fish” prizes, Tatum noted.
“These prizes generate a lot of excitement,” he said, “and people had been submitting every legal fish they caught, even little ‘shakers’ that most people wouldn’t normally keep. This year, the four $500 Mystery Fish prizes only go to fish that weigh six pounds or more. This will help keep smaller fish out in the wild, getting bigger for next year.”
Tickets for the derby cost $40 for one day or all three days ($42.50 online). Tickets are available now at many area merchants, through Friday, Feb. 14; tickets also can be purchased online, until Wednesday, Feb. 12, at www.GardinerSalmonDerby.org – for pickup at your launch ramp.
Tickets will be available at the five launch ramps, but only on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Ticket sales are limited.
See www.GardinerSalmonDerby.org for information about ticket sale locations, online ticket sales, and other details – including the no-cost tickets available for Wounded Warriors.
The event spans the north Olympic Peninsula, with weigh stations at five launch ramps: Freshwater Bay, Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, John Wayne Marina in Sequim, Gardiner and Port Townsend Boat Haven. Derby volunteers inspect and weigh submitted fish, which are then returned to the angler.
The awards ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, at the Gardiner Boat Ramp. The ceremony also will include a cash prize raffle, plus a free barbecue starting at 11 a.m.
As usual, the Northwest Marine Trade Association will be there displaying its $60,000 2014 grand prize boat – every ticket holder is automatically entered into the NMTA prize boat drawing, held later in the year.
For more information, including derby rules, plus information about the NMTA prize boat drawing, visit www.GardinerSalmonDerby.org.