IT’S THE LAST chance for chinook anglers to get in the running for a serious cash prize.
Ticket sales for the 2018 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby will end Monday at retail locations and Wednesday online at www.gardinersalmonderby.org.
The derby itself will run Friday through Sunday, March 9-11. A post-derby barbecue begins at noon Sunday with the awards ceremony set for 3 p.m. at the Gardiner Boat Ramp.
First prize for the largest hatchery blackmouth is $10,000, with many other cash and merchandise prizes, including four $500 mystery fish prizes.
Tickets are $40 at retailers, $42.50 online for one day or all three days.
Proceeds go toward the nonprofit Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, which supports scholarships for college-bound students, and community and emergency services.
The derby is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series and all ticket-holders are entered to win a fully-loaded 2018 Kingfisher 2025 valued at $65,000. This boat is powered by a Honda 150 and 9.9 horsepower motors, comes equipped with Scotty downriggers, Raymarine electronics and a Dual Electronics stereo and the prize also includes an EZ-loader galvanized trailer.
The boat will be displayed at the barbecue and awards ceremony with the winner drawn later this year.
Sequim angler Dave Croonquist checked in with a reminder that Canadian halibut season opened March 1.
“If you have a Canadian license, it will expire at midnight, March 31,” Croonquist wrote. “If you wish to fish Canadian areas 121, 23 and 123 (Swiftsure area) you much purchase a license, in person, from a Canadian license vendor.”
There are specific closures in Area 121 that must be heeded, so check those out at tinyurl.com/PDN-BCHalibut.
Don’t forget your passport and don’t take any firearms or mace on your vessel if going into Canadian waters.
“It looks like there may be changes in the Canadian regulations starting April 1,” Croonquist said. “I’ve heard that they might reduce the maximum size from 133 centimeters (52 inches) to 115 centimeters (45 inches) to save some poundage and extend their season Any changes will come out before April 1.”
If you’re thinking about combining salmon fishing with a halibut trip on a day trip out of a Washington port, you will need an authorization number from the Department of Fish and Wildlife at wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/canadian_catch.php.
“You may also encounter orcas on your trip,” Croonquist wrote. “Give them a wide berth. If they are passing close by, shut off your depthfinder and engine until they are past.”
Monday’s monthly meeting of the Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishers will begin an hour earlier than normal, at 6 p.m., with a fly-tying demonstration by Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop.
The club meets at the Campfire USA Clubhouse, 619 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.
Merwin will discuss how to fly fish from a kayak starting at the group’s usual 7 p.m. meeting time and he will stay after the presentation to answer questions.
Anglers meet in PT
North Olympic Salmon Coalition Executive Director Rebecca Benjamin will speak at the March meeting of the East Jefferson Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, March 13 in the Port of Port Townsend Commissioners Office, 333 Benedict St. in Port Townsend, with a meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. and the business meeting at 7 p.m.
In recent years the coalition has worked on restoration projects at the 3 Crabs estuary near the mouth of the Dungeness River, where the group helped create a new Department of Fish and Wildlife access site; the Lower Discovery Bay estuary at Snow Creek, restoration of a stretch of Sequim Bay shoreline and will
That project aims to re-create 10-20 acres of historic tidal channels and reconnect a salt marsh linkage between southern Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay in order to re-establish a major northern and southern migratory passage in an area of potentially superb nearshore habitat between Kilisut Harbor and Oak Bay for juvenile and adult salmonids, including ESA-listed Hood Canal summer chum, Puget Sound chinook and steelhead.
A raffle of fishing tackle will be held at the meeting.
Refreshments will be available. The public is invited to attend.
The 36th annual Murray’s Salmon Derby will be held on Hood Canal Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $15 and available at the derby’s home, the Geoduck Restaurant, 307103 U.S. Highway 101 in Brinnon.
First-prize for the biggest blackmouth is $1,500, with second taking home $750, and third $500. A $100 bonus will be awarded for the biggest fish caught Saturday.
Other prizes donated by local merchants will be donated.
The Geoduck will open at 4 a.m. for breakfast and derby ticket purchases each day.
An award ceremony will close out the derby Sunday afternoon.
For more information, phone the Geoduck at 360-796-4430.