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

By Valdez Fish Derbies
For the Star 

Ninety pounders lead the way in first week of Valdez Halibut Derby

Charter Captains in Valdez are preparing for a very busy fishing


The Valdez Halibut Derby kicked off May 20 and some nice fish were weighed in the first few days of the derby officials say.

This past Sunday, members of the Alaska military visited Valdez and the number of boats going out for halibut dramatically increased. The boats taking out military personnel on Saturday did not profit and donated their time to Military Appreciation Day. The City of Valdez puts together a program where charters donate their time and Crowley Fuels generously donates the fuel so that Alaska military service members can enjoy a day of halibut fishing. The City of Valdez hosts military appreciation picnics and barbeques open to visitors and the community.

Robert Calton of Eielson AFB, reeled in a 94.8 pound halibut May 26. from aboard the "Dan Orion" to take the lead in the Halibut Derby. Chris Forman of JBER is currently in second place overall with a 92.2 pound halibut he caught on the "Jamie Lynn" last Wednesday. Shane Hofstad of JBER is currently in third place overall with a 88.4 pound halibut he caught May 24 aboard the "Jaime Lynn".

Charter Captains in Valdez are preparing for a busy season as anglers have high hopes of being the winner of the $15,000 first place prize in the Valdez Halibut Derby. A ticket costs $10 for the day or $50 for the season and must be purchased before heading out on the water. The limit for halibut in Prince William Sound is still two per person, and one of those fish can be no longer than 29 inches in length.

The derby shack and weigh-in station is located kitty corner from the Harbormaster's office.

In addition to the grand prize of $15,000, the second place prize is $5,000 and third place is $2,000 for catching the largest three fish.

Halibut derby anglers can also win weekly first and second place prizes. The Halibut Hullabaloo is slated for June 10-19. The angler catching the largest halibut during this period will win $1,000 in addition to the daily prizes.

Photo courtesy Valdez Fish Derbies

Robert Calton, from Eielson AFB, leads the Halibut Derby in the first week with this 94.8 pounder he caught Thursday from the DAN ORION.

This year, the Valdez Fish Derbies will also hold a drawing for $10,000 cash and everyone who purchases a ticket will be in the raffle, whether they go fishing or not. Every daily derby ticket purchased equals one raffle ticket, and each season ticket purchased equals five raffle tickets for the $10,000 drawing at the end of the season.

The Kids Pink Salmon Derby has been set for Saturday, July 22 and will feature first, second and third place prizes in four different age divisions. The Kids derby is free and open to kids aged 5 to 16 years.

The Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez will again boast a $15,000 first place prize and daily prizes and runs July 22 through September 3.

The Annual Valdez Women's Derby is slated for Saturday, August 12, with an opening ceremony Friday, August 11, with a closing ceremony Saturday night.

There will be a $500 prize for the vendor and operator selling the winning derby ticket in both derbies. For more information on the Valdez Derbies, visit the website.


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