Derby rolls on, Gildersleeve in pole position


Submitted Photo

Randy Easterly took home $2,500 for his 32.9-pound King taken near Aaron’s Creek on Memorial Day. Easterly entered the ladder with the catch and is currently in 8th place.

You know it’s getting close to summer in Wrangell when the boats and skiffs of locals are on the water looking for King Salmon – and especially when the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce puts out their scale to weigh the incoming fish for the annual King Salmon Derby.

The 61st annual derby began on May 11 and will run through June 9, with a total of $30,000 in cash and prizes available to the winners, including a $6,000 first place award.

Chamber of Commerce manager Cyni Waddington said the event is special to Wrangell and does great service to the businesses in Wrangell that service the sport fishing industry.

“Our two main events each year are the Fourth of July and the Derby,” Waddington said. “The Derby generates so much money for not only all the businesses in town, but especially those that sell licenses, tags and gear to those taking part.”

Gary Svendsen was the 2012 winner of the derby with his 46.5-pounder at Found Island.

Wrangellite Josh Gildersleeve was at the top of the 2013 ladder as of deadline for this story with his 38.5-pound King caught at Found Island. Randy Easterly won the Memorial Day portion of the derby – and took home $2,500 for his effort in catching a 32.9-pound entry at Aaron’s Creek.

The derby runs through June 9. For more information, call the Chamber at 874-3901.


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