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Seward salmon derby nears finish line

Alaska Dispatch News

Heading into its final weekend, the Seward Silver Salmon Derby is seeing smaller than usual fish near the top of the leaderboard. 

Anchorage angler Carl Berstrom leads the field with his 17.4-pound silver. But four anglers with salmon weighing less than 15 pounds have nosed into the top 10.  A year ago, when a 21.3-pound silver won the derby for Taro Rich, an angler couldn’t sniff the top 10 with a fish smaller than 16.3 pounds.

This year, Stephen Skirvin of Eagle River is clinging to the 10th spot with his 14.4-pound silver.

Alaska’s oldest fishing derby, which began in 1956, ends at noon Sunday. The tournament record is Shirley Baysinger’s 22.2-pounder, caught in 2002. The smallest winner was a 15.04-pounder caught by Gwenevere Hudson in 1965.

The winner earns $10,000, with second place taking home $5,000 and $2,500 for third. There’s one silver with a $50,000 tag still swimming in the waters of Resurrection Bay. Another tagged fish can be exchanged for a new Chevy Silverado pickup.

Daily derby tickets cost $10.