Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Edwards' 42-pounder wins salmon derby


Strong winds cut into catches during the final weekend of the 36th annual Haines King Salmon Derby, helping Mark Edwards hang on to win the event with his first-weekend catch, a 42-pound king.

“The winds picked up pretty much both days. A few small boats ran across (the inlet) but they came back pretty soon before it got too bad,” said Toni DeWitt, derby chairman. That cut into participation, as 63 daily derby tickets was a drop of about 20 from last year. Organizers sold 86 season tickets, about on par with last year, DeWitt said.

Michael T. Ward’s 32-pound king was the weekend’s largest catch, and placed third overall, she said.

At 42 kings turned in during five days of fishing, the event’s take is up nine fish from last year, with a profit of about $5,000, DeWitt said. “We made a little bit of money. I think everybody had a good time. People who like to fish the derby really like to fish the derby. A lot of people caught doubles and triples, so that was exciting.”

Fish and Game sportfish biologist Brian Elliott said about 80 percent of derby effort last weekend was within Letnikof Cove. Despite large amounts of undersized fish, ones turned in for the derby were “decent,” including the winner.

The highest king harvest rates typically come the first or second week of June. DeWitt said that’s proving out this year. “There’s fish rollng into the dock so people better get out and get some for dinner or for their freezers,” she said.

The derby award ceremony will be held 3 p.m. Sunday at the American Bald Eagle Foundation.

Derby results as of this week included: 1) Mark Edwards, 42.15; 2) Jeff Klanott, 34.45, 3) Michael T. Ward, 32; 4) Lawrence Willard, 29.25; 5) Shannon Willard, 27.65; 6) Charlie DeWitt, 27.45; 7) Blayke Curtis, 25.95; 8) Corey Mahar, 24.25; 9) Bev Klanott, 23.85; 10) Chuck Baltzell, 23.70; 11) Craig Lewis, 23.20; 12) Dave Parks, 22.70; 13) Dianna Edwards, 22.25; 14) Elsie Hakkila, 22.20; 15) Randy Craig, 21.65; 16) Charles Williams, 21.35; 17) Steven Conley, 21.30; 18) Jeff David, Jr., 20.10; 19) Eric Ferrin, 19.45; 20) Chauncey Craig, 18.10; 21) Mike Ward, 17.05; 22) Glen Mielke, 16.10; 23) Keri Eggleston, 15.95; 24) Debra Hulsman, 14.90; 25) Tiffany DeWitt, 13.95.


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