Halibut Still Biting, Kid’s Salmon Contest Looming In Valdez

Bernie Gregory caught this 165-pounder at the Valdez Halibut Derby. (VALDEZFISHDERBIES.COM)

The following press release is courtesy of Valdez Fish Derbies:

VALDEZ, Alaska – Pink salmon are jumping in Port Valdez and young anglers will have a chance to catch them and win prizes this Saturday, July 21st in the Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby.

Doug Cranor of Valdez is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 239.0 pound fish he caught June 23rd aboard the Redhead. Russell Young of Fairbanks is currently holding onto 2nd place in the overall standings with a 226.0 pound halibut he caught June 23rd aboard the Dan Orion and Tim Ingraham of North Pole is currently in 3rd place overall with a 214.2 pound halibut he caught July 7th aboard the Jaime Lynn.

In addition to the Valdez Halibut Derby Grand prize of $10,000 cash, a 2nd place prize of $3,000 and 3rd place prize of $1,500 cash, there are weekly 1st and 2nd place prizes. Some of the prize packages include charters, overnight stays, glacier tours and Valdez Fish Derbies apparel in addition to gift certificates.

The Chitina dip net fishery had been closed but Alaska Department of Fish and Game held an 84 hour opener last Thursday at noon through Sunday atmidnight. ADF&G said the 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run had improved, allowing the opening. The 2018 Copper River sockeye salmon run has required the department to modify management strategies to compensate for low sockeye salmon wild stock abundance, a stronger than projected hatchery stock run, and management of Copper River Delta sockeye salmon wild stock escapement in order to provide harvest opportunity and still achieve the wild sockeye salmon sustainable escapement goal. The personal use fishery will continue to be managed weekly through the end of August with any potential fishing opportunity dependent upon sonar passage and further adjustments needed to ensure wild sockeye salmon escapement.

The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby starts this Saturday and anglers are already bringing silvers to Port. The Valdez Kids Pink Salmon Derby is also this Saturday, July 21st. The Kids Derby is open to children age 5 to 16 and there is no fee to enter. Kids just need to weigh-in a pink salmon at the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station Saturday, July 21st to get a t-shirt and have a chance of winning one of the top three spots in their age division. A free family barbeque and awards will follow the day of fishing. The first 300 kids to stop by the weigh-in will get a free t-shirt. Valdez Fish Derbies dates, prizes, rules, winners, pictures and more can be found at www.valdezfishderbies.com.

Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st       Doug Cranor               Valdez, AK                 239.0 lbs.         June 23            Redhead

2nd      Russel Young              Fairbanks, AK             226.0 lbs.         June 23            Dan Orion

3rd       Tim Ingraham              North Pole, AK           214.2 lbs.         July 7               Jaime Lynn

Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners – July 9th through July 15th

1st        Bernie Gregory           Kimball, MN               165.0 lbs.         July 13             Bold Eagle

2nd        Stephon Thompson     Bingham Farms, MI    140.4lbs.          July 9               Jaime Lynn

For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit: www.valdezfishderbies.com