Chamber moves salmon derby to June 15-30

The chamber of commerce has moved the dates for this month’s salmon derby to June 15-30 to allow anglers more time to try their luck after popular areas near Wrangell open to sportfishing on June 15.

The chamber had initially scheduled the derby for two weekends — June 7-9 and June 14-16 — but decided at a May 28 derby committee meeting to move the days to later in the month.

State Department of Fish and Game District 6, west of Etolin and Zarembo islands, and most of District 7, east and south of Wrangell, are closed to kings through June 14. “Those are right here, outside our window,” Tommy Wells, the chamber’s executive director, said of the reason to delay the start of the derby to June 15.

Derby entrants must purchase a ticket before they go fishing. The tickets, at $20 each, will be available at the chamber office in the Stikine Inn and from businesses in town, though the list of ticket sellers was still being put together last week, Wells said.

The weekday weigh-in station for derby entries will be next to the harbormaster office in the downtown harbor, Wells said, with an evening and weekend weigh-in location still to be determined. People can call the chamber for current information, 907-874-3901.

This will be the 69th year for the salmon derby, which awards prizes for the largest fish caught. The chamber was still working on a complete prize list last week, Wells said, though the Totem Bar and Liquor Store has donated prize money for the youths who catch the largest fish: $100, $75 and $50 cash for the top three entries.

The chamber is actively soliciting business sponsors for the derby this year — a new attempt to help defray the cost to the nonprofit organization that is struggling financially.

Local businesses received a letter last week, promoting sponsorship packages ranging from $250 to $5,000. “Sponsors will be advertised,” the letter said, so that the community knows who is donating to the derby.

In addition, volunteers are needed to staff the weigh-in station. Anyone interested in volunteering or buying a sponsorship can call the chamber office or Wells at 254-210-1558, or email


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