Tickets are on sale for the 2014 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, scheduled for Presidents Day Weekend, Feb. 15-17. The 2014 event — with fishing in 500 square miles of Puget Sound and five weigh stations — will feature a $10,000 first-place prize.
Formerly called the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, the event is hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association. The nonprofit group supports area emergency responders and other services with money raised by the derby.
The winter blackmouth derby also is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series. Derby participants will be entered in a drawing for a $60,000 outfitted fishing boat the association is giving away next fall.
Dan Tatum, president of Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, said he is excited about the 2014 event.
“Each year we seem to do a little better. Last year we had 351 fish submitted — what a great derby,” he said.
Anglers will see some rule changes for this year’s event.
“In earlier years, we only allowed one fish per person on the ladder. We’ve removed that restriction. If you catch two prize winners, you win two prizes,” Tatum said.
Another rule change has to do with the mystery fish prizes.
In the past, anglers would enter every legal fish they caught, even small shakers most people wouldn’t normally keep when fishing, Tatum said. This year, the four $500 mystery fish prizes only go to fish that weigh 6 pounds or more.
The awards ceremony will be Feb. 17 at the Gardiner Boat Ramp at 2 p.m. There will be a free barbecue starting at 11 a.m. before the awards ceremony.