Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ready, set, fish! Salmon derby raises money for kids
Opening day of a selective hatchery chinook fishery brought an estimated 300 small fishing boats into Admiralty Inlet on Friday - expect just as many or more boats on Saturday. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists like Marcus Thompson (left) measured fish – most weighed in the teens – at the Port of Port Townsend boat ramp. There were 31 fish on the first 31 boats returning to the ramp. The Chimacum High School Alumni Association Salmon Derby is Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Patrick J. Sullivan
Get your lines wet this weekend for the inaugural Chimacum High School Alumni Association Salmon Derby.
Centered at the Port Hadlock Marina at the head of Port Townsend Bay, the July 17-18 derby is open to anglers of all ages. Tickets are $25, with those ages 14 and younger fishing for free. (Kids still need a ticket to enter a fish.)
The derby zone is Marine Area 9. Launch your boat at the Lower Port Hadlock ramp, Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island, the Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven, Fort Worden State Park or the Mats Mats Bay ramp.
Salmon must be caught between sunrise and 3 p.m. on Saturday and between sunrise and noon on Sunday. Salmon must arrive by water for weigh-in at the Port Hadlock Marina between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. and noon on Sunday.
An awards ceremony is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Port Hadlock Marina. The anglers on the prize ladder must be present to win.
Tickets are available at the event’s sponsoring businesses: Four Corners Store in Discovery Bay; Westside Marine and LPL Financial Services/Rich Gastfield in Port Townsend; and Hadlock Building Supply/Just Ask Rental in Port Hadlock. Eldridge Homes Inc. is also a sponsor.
If 80 tickets are sold, prizes will be $1,000 for the largest salmon, $500 for second, and $250 for third. The next seven biggest fish receive prizes donated by local businesses. The youth with the biggest fish earns $100, with new bicycles for youngsters with the second- and third-largest fish.
Billy Eldridge, Chimacum High School Class of 2002 and alumni association president, said the salmon derby is a new effort to raise money by the nonprofit group to give to kids through scholarships and support of education programs.
“There aren’t any salmon derbies on this weekend, so we hope this is something that will draw locals and people from out of town,” Eldridge said. “We’re going to try it this year, and hopefully it’ll take off and be a good fundraiser for the alumni association.”
For more information about the derby, contact Eldridge at 360-821-1007.

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