The 73rd annual Golden North Salmon Derby will take place Aug. 16-18 this year, according to an announcement during Wednesday night’s Territorial Sportsmen Inc. Salmon Symposium.
The derby, an annual event that happens in August, raises money for scholarships. Since 1953, Territorial Sportsmen has given out more than 300 scholarships totaling $1.7 million. Scholarships range from four-year scholarships for graduating high school seniors to scholarships for graduate study to scholarships for vocational training.
Due to concerns about the population of chinook (king) salmon, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Territorial Sportsmen do not encourage anglers to target king salmon. Sport fishing king salmon is closed from April 1-June 15, according to ADF&G, but it will be open after then. In 2018, the derby didn’t accept king salmon for prizes or to be sold as scholarship fish. Derby Co-Chair Jerry Burnett said Thursday that if king salmon fishing is open at the time, the derby will be accepting kings this year.
The winner of the 2018 derby, James McKnight, reeled in a 17.7-pound coho salmon and the $10,000 grand prize.
In 2018, Bennett said at the time, there were more than 1,100 derby tickets sold and participants turned in 2,676 cohos that weighed a total of 25,081 pounds. Alaska Glacier Seafoods paid $28,064.40 for the fish, Burnett said at the time.