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Close call decides 64th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: August 18, 2019
  • Published August 18, 2019

Michelle Murray of Eagle River holds the 15.99-pound coho that made her the winner of the 64th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby. (Photo provided by Seward Chamber of Commerce)

The weight of about four pennies made Eagle River’s Michelle Murray $10,000 richer Sunday.

Murray won the 64th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby with a silver that was a sliver heavier than the cohos that finished in second place and third place.

She prevailed with a 15.99-pound fish that gave her an edge of 9.07 grams over the second-place fish and 13.60 grams over the third-place fish.

For perspective, a penny weighs 2.5 grams. So the weight of less than four pennies separated Murray from second-place Angela Garner of Wichita, Kansas, and the weight of less than six pennies separated her from third-place Ron Goodwin of Wasilla.

Garner’s fish weighed 15.97 pounds and Goodwin’s weighed 15.96.

A total of 2,092 silver salmon were entered in the nine-day derby. They weighed a total of 17,186 pounds, an average of 8.2 pounds per fish.

Murray, who caught her championship coho Tuesday at the head of Resurrection Bay, took home $10,000 for the victory.

Garner, who hooked her big fish Sunday at Tonsina Creek, pocketed $5,000, and Goodwin, who hooked his Monday at Pilot Rock, collected $2,500.

None of the derby’s big-money tagged fish were caught, but if anyone catches one between now and Sept. 30, it’s worth $100 if turned in to the Seward Visitors Center.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Murray’s last name.