The salmon season officially began this past weekend as the 66th Annual Ketchikan King Salmon Derby kicked off on Saturday. This year’s ladder totals more than $90,000 in prizes for participants, including the $10,000 grand prize for catching the largest king! Communities all over Alaska take great pride in their annual King Salmon derbies, and Ketchikan is no exception. This year’s derby starts, as usual, on Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27), then continues for the next two weekends in June (June 1-2 & 8-9).
Michael Briggs caught the first fish of the derby on Saturday, a 28.3 lb king salmon. That fish tumbled down the leader board as the weekend progressed however, and Michael currently finds himself sitting in 8th place with two weekends left to fish.
Ketchikan local Brian Thompson is the derby leader after the first weekend. His 40.0 lb king was weighed at Clover Pass Resort on Sunday morning. This fish would have finished in 2nd place had it been turned in last year. We will see if Brian can hold on to the top spot for two more weeks! Beyond the cash prize of $10,000 for winning this year’s derby, there are another thirty prizes available on the adult ladder, ten spots are up for grabs on the youth ladder, plus there are special prizes like hidden weights, largest fish caught from a skiff 16′ or smaller, permanent license holders, and more!! Adult tickets are only $35, and kids fish the derby for free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. For more information, visit the derby website or Facebook page!!