John Otness of Tacoma landed a 17.6-pound salmon and a check for $10,000 for winning the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby.
Despite strong winds and changing weather, competitors in the weekend derby checked in 217 winter blackmouth. The average weight of checked fish was 8.44 pounds.
The $5,000 second-place winner was Steven Sevilla of Discovery Bay with a 15.5-pound fish. In third place, good for $1,500, was David Hansen of Port Angeles with a 15.3-pound salmon. Fourth place ($500) went to John Calkins of Shelton with a 15-pound fish.
Net proceeds from the annual derby support local emergency services and other important community needs. This year, the money is going to help buy a thermal imaging cCamera for the Diamond Point volunteer fire station.
“The derby went really well, despite the bad weather that kept many people away. The weather hurt our ticket sales this year – the weather, plus the difficult economy,” said Dan Tatum, president of Gardiner Salmon Derby Association. “Still we had a great derby, and the fishing results prove it.”
The derby is part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series, run by the Northwest Marine Trade Association. All derby ticket holders are entered in the association’s grand prize boat drawing.
For pictures of the derby, a complete list of the fish submitted, and other details, click here.