Clay Robidoux, left, punches validation tickets for Hailley Jones, center, and Lori Day.
Diana Tersteeg, with the Department of Fish and Game, carefully picks scales off of a king salmon for genetics testing on Friday, Aug. 9 during the Golden North Salmon Derby.
Story last updated at 8/14/2013 - 2:56 pm
Boats laden with fishing poles and eager fishermen poured out of Juneau's harbors on Friday, Aug. 9, the hopeful sought to catch "the big one" that would net them prizes in the Golden North Salmon Derby.
While the derby gives prize incentive to contestants, it also keeps the fish for resale for scholarships with the Territorial Sportsmen.
By Friday morning, more than 750 people validated their fishing ticket with the derby officials - with more than 1,200 people validating throughout the weekend.
Louis Tagaban waited in line at the Auke Bay official weigh-in station to validate his ticket. He was looking forward to fishing with friends and just being on the water, but admitted he wasn't feeling particularly lucky on Friday.
Rob Thomas has fished in the derby for 25 years. The biggest fish he's caught during that time has been about 23 pounds.
"I go where the fish are and put bait in front of them," he said.
Lori Day and Hailley Jones looked eager to get out on the water as they waited in line in Auke Bay on Friday.
"I'm hoping to catch a big one and some sun of course," Day said.
Day had fished in the derby for 4-5 years and Jones is on her second year.
"Just luck," Jones said of their trick to catching the big one. "But when it's not the derby we catch the big ones."
Out on the water Jeff Rud held up a 31-inch salmon. He just used a flasher and a hoochie - green on green.
David Timothy eagerly showed off the coho he caught with Jackie Timothy and Dick Garrison. Garrison was driving the boat, and has fished in all 67 Golden North Salmon Derbies.
The unofficial winner of the derby this year is Jody Hass, who reeled in a 29.2 pound king salmon. The results won't be validated until Tuesday, Aug. 13 - after print deadline. She turned her fish in at 12:5- p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 in Douglas.
Al Risley turned in a 28.8 pound king salmon to Amalga Harbor for second place, and Amy Fosket took third place with a 26 pound king salmon turned in at Auke Bay. All results are unofficial until certified.
The awards ceremony will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall. The top 67 fish will be recognized. Winners must bring their derby ticket and weigh-in stub.
During the derby Diana Tersteeg, a biologist with the Department of Fish and Game, took about 30 percent of the king salmon aside to pluck off scales for stock identification testing.
"There are a lot of feeder stock that come through and then we have our wild stocks," she said. "I'm part of the krill survey. A missing post fin means it should have a tiny wire tag in its nose. A missing post fin does not necessarily mean it's a hatchery fish. They're tested in the wild too."
She said the benefit of the testing is that they know exactly where the stocks are coming from and see how well the returning stocks are doing.
Sarah Day is the editor of Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.