The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

A derby second to none


Val McHone | For The LOG

Rich Taro caught a 21.25 pound silver which won him the $10,000 prize in the 2013 Seward Salmon Derby. The champion fish was landed aboard Alaska Saltwater Charter's Florette C, captained by Dianne Dubuc.

One day short of the Seward Silver Salmon Derby deadline Taro Rich of Anchorage hauled in a 21.25-pound monster coho to dominate the competition. The largest silver to be caught during the derby in a generation was brought aboard the Florette C, captained by Dianne M. Dubuc, a lifelong Alaskan and commercial fisherperson. Making the feat all the more distinctive, this is the first derby champion catch aboard a commercial fishing vessel.

Dubuc is the owner of Alaska Saltwater Charters, and along with her gifted crew of Ryan Parsons and Krista “Ace” Fletcher, was recognized along with Rich during the awards ceremony in the Breeze Inn lobby Sunday. The awards ceremony brought a few of the top ranking derby entrants forward to claim their trophies and, more importantly, fat prizes. However Rich’s grin was definitely the most dazzling as he held up his $10,000 check.

Rich’s winning catch was the third largest recorded for the derby since its beginning. That wasn’t the only big number this year. There were 2,257 derby entries with 21,000 pounds of fish weighed in during the 2013 event. The event hasn’t seen numbers like that since 2007 when the derby was experimentally extended to two weeks.

The average weight of silvers at the derby scales was up a pound over last year at 9.5 pounds. The largest silver caught from a sailboat came in during the last 20 minutes as John Maniscalco, who ran in a 13.19 pounder to top his previous effort.

The derby, which is organized by the Seward Chamber of Commerce every year, functions almost completely through the efforts of volunteers. Erin Lemas, chamber events coordinator, says that there were around 108 hands on deck for all nine days working through five shifts. Lemas also says that the Harbormaster’s office staff always goes above and beyond the call of duty, and this year was no exception.

Icicle Seafoods was another crucial supporter of this year’s derby, and workers Gil and Pedro were on call to bring over more ice, new totes, and take away the bought back silvers. Icicle also kicked down a lot of cool stuff for the volunteer appreciation party coming up on Sept. 1.

The derby proceeds go to maintain fisheries enhancement projects that primarily benefit Seward’s visitor and charter industry. The Seward Chamber of Commerce has reportedly already started discussing the purchase of smolt as well as other fish restoration projects to be started this fall.

One of the regrets expressed at the close of the derby came from perennial derby leader Erik Johnson, who wished he hadn’t taken a day off. He was trying for sheer mass this time rather than just the one big fish. He fell short of his goal, but his daughter Emma mastered the youth category with a 15.93-pound catch. She also nabbed the Helly Hansen red gift bag at the Sunday deadline for being the last angler to weigh in.

Local cab driver and angler Scott Bartley drifted into port one hour too late with a large silver he estimated at 17 pounds. He says it probably would have put him in the top rankings, but he didn’t weigh it because he didn’t really want to know.

Final Top 50

1Day 821.25RichTaroThumb CoveFlorette CAnchorageAK
2Day 817.65FerrinTherinIn the WaterNorth 1AnchorageAK
3Day 617.34DixonDanielCaines HeadDarleneAnchorageAK
4Day 317.13ChildsDonThumb CoveTroublemakerWasillaAK
5Day 516.92AndersonSteveCaines Head
6Day 816.77SteeleKentonHead of Bay
7Day 716.75PaquettePaulLowell PtAlbi DarnSewardAK
8Day 216.67JensenRichardSouth of Thumb CoveHorndogPalmerAK
9Day 616.45JamesReneeCaines HeadTara LeeAnnWasillaAK
10Day 516.34PultierKenThumbs Cove
11Day 516.34LimaJoeLowell Pt
12Day 516.19WilsonLauraThumbs Cove
13Day 316.05HunterNickCaines HeadMiss TameraAnchorageAK
14Day 716.03Crocketcharelsout of baymichael Alincolnme
15Day 515.95UnreinJamesCaines Headmiss moxieSewardak
16Day 715.93JohnsonEmmaFox IslandBlackbirdAnchorageAK
17Day 615.92StoltzRogerRes BayGringo LocoSewardAK
18Day 715.88tumulakhazelbay
19Day 615.88PfistererWilliamCaines Head
20Day 515.80HillJessicacaines head
21Day 115.79VestralCathleenCheval
22Day 315.78CabalbalKevinArmy DockOhanakaiAnchorageAK
23Day 915.72ShandyTonyIron GateVirginai LeeChugiakAK
24Day 715.69GrothRogerCalistoQuackNikiskiAK
25Day 715.66MitchellRichardHead BayhandicapAnchorageAK
26Day 615.61SchmidtRichardLowell PointAlbi DarnSewardAK
27Day 815.52JohnsonErikMiddle Of BayBlackbirdAnchorageAK
28Day 515.44EberleJosephCaines Headn/aPort OrchardWA
29Day 815.43BuzdorDebraThumb CoveLil DuckpalmerAK
30Day 615.42MainCaseyTwin RocksWindlumAnchorageAK
31Day 815.39WilliamsDanielwest sidenice bergNikiskiAK
32Day 315.35HixsonWesley
AK HookerPalmerAK
33Day 615.34WilliamsMary AnnHead of BayNicebergNikiskiAK
34Day 715.28Van HooseMattHead BayKalginSoldotnaAK
35Day 115.24JohnsonErikHead of Bay4 SeasAnchorageAK
36Day 815.20DanielKimThumb CoveIllusionSoldotnaAK
37Day 215.18DubbeBenRes BayN/AHomerAK
38Day 315.16DoughertyTimFault PointMolly BAnchorageAK
39Day 815.16TatumGregoryHead of BayMagic StickAnchorageAK
40Day 215.15TallmanNickRes BayNo NameSewardAK
41Day 515.14SzepanskiJoanFault PointNoah's ArkSewardAK
42Day 415.13KiteJustinCaines HeadReel luvBellevueWA
43Day 715.12EluskaCherylbulldogamerican maidAnchorageak
44Day 915.08WieczorekAndrewSeaLife CenterPabst SlayerAnchorageAK
45Day 115.05WieczogekAndrewCaines HeadPabst SlayerAnchorageAK
46Day 115.04WilsonStacieRes BayRainisongAnchorageAK
47Day 115.03KellerWilmaThumb CoveAK SummerAnchorageAK
48Day 414.99BrownGaryCalistoThe Money PitFairbanksAK
49Day 314.98CabalbalAlainaArmy DockOhanakaiAnchorageAK
50Day 714.96RancartMichaelCalisto


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