The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

New Zealander tops Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez

Coho action heats up for anglers as Silvers surely make way into port


The silver salmon are returning to Valdez slowly but surely.

The first week of the silver derby was slow at first, with very few fish weighed in. That all changed on Big Prize Friday. The fishing picked up and some nice size fish were brought to the weigh-in station.

Jim Rothenbuhler of Salcha caught the biggest Coho Friday, winning the $500 cash prize. His 13.66 pound fish also won him the daily first place prize, worth hundreds of dollars. His Friday catch put him in the top spot on the Silver Salmon Derby overall leader board, but it was a short reign.

G.C. MacDonald of Murupara, New Zealand picked up a 15.60 pound silver on Sunday from aboard the Martie Kay and as of Monday was still leading the derby. Michael Freerksen of Valdez is still in third place in the overall standings with the 12.46 pound silver he caught a week ago Friday aboard the Crista June.

Valdez Fish Derbies

G.C. MacDonald of Murupara, New Zealand currently leads the Silver Salmon Derby with this 15.6 pound Coho she caught Sunday.

While silver fishing is heating up, another leader snuck into the standings in the halibut derby. James McQuain of Fairbanks reeled in a 171.6 pound halibut July 25 from aboard the Dawn Treader, breaking into the overall standings in second place. Scott Hebig of Wasilla is still leading the derby with the 203.6 pound halibut he caught June 20 aboard the Amanda Rose. Jeff Maurer of Elysburg, Pennsylvania dropped to third place in the standings with the 171.4 pound halibut he caught July 17 aboard the Dawn Treader.

The Valdez Women's Silver Salmon Derby should bring in plenty of bigger fish, and a lot of lady anglers. The opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 8, and a closing awards ceremony on Saturday, August 9. The theme of this year's Women's Derby is "Fairy Tales" and there will be a costume contest Friday. Live music is planned for Saturday and derby organizers are expecting another exciting year. Visit the Women's Derby registration page at


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