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Eagle River woman leads Seward Silver Salmon Derby with a 15.99-pound fish

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: August 14, 2019
  • Published August 14, 2019

Seward anglers mooch for silver salmon near Callisto Head near Bear Glacier during the 2019 Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo provided by Seward Chamber of Commerce)

Sixteen pounds. That’s what it will take to seize the lead in the Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

A coho weighing 15.99 pounds leads the 64th annual derby, one of Alaska’s oldest and most popular fishing contests.

Michelle Murray of Eagle River sits atop the leaderboard with the 15.99-pound fish caught Tuesday morning near the head of Resurrection Bay.

Second place belongs to Angela Garner of Wichita, Kansas. She got her 15.97-pound silver last Sunday.

In third place with a 15.96-pounder is Ron Goodwin of Wasilla, who hooked his fish Monday, which happened to be his birthday, according to the derby’s Facebook page.

Michelle Murray of Eagle River holds the 15.99-pound silver salmon she caught near the head of Resurrection Bay. (Photo provided by Seward Chamber of Commerce)

The derby ends at noon this Sunday. Tickets are $10 a day.

First place pays $10,000, second place is worth $5,000 and third place gets $2,500. A slew of other prizes are also available, plus there are tagged fish swimming around that, if caught, are worth $50,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000.

The derby started Saturday, and in the first four days nearly 1,000 silver salmon were brought to the derby booth at the Seward Boat Harbor, according to Jen Leahy of the Seward Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the derby.

“I believe that exceeds last year's entries for the same time period,” she said by email. “Limits are being taken outside the bay, and the fishing is picking up at the typical hotspots within Resurrection Bay.”

Anglers are beginning to catch cohos from the shore, she added.

Last year’s derby winner was Stacey Walters of Seward, who caught a 16.73-pound silver.

Vaughn Goodwin of Wasilla landed a bright coho near the boundary line of Resurrection Bay. (Photo provided by Seward Chamber of Commerce)