Kenai hosts Silver Salmon Derby second year in a row

Kenai’s second Silver Salmon Derby starts Friday. The derby is unlike other derbies you’ll see around the state. Where one town gives a prize to whoever catches the heaviest fish, Kenai opts for a mystery weight that is generated daily.

The city of Kenai and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce host the event, and every day a “magic wheel” is spun and the weight of the day is chosen from there. Silver salmon coming in that day and weigh closest to the magic number are eligible for daily cash prizes that are generated from a percentage of ticket sales.

There is also an overall prize of $1,000, plus 10 percent of the gross ticket sales. The event began last year as a way to bring people to Kenai, Kenai city manager Paul Ostrander said. “The idea was to provide a fun event for people to enjoy during the summer shoulder season,” Ostrander said.

Ostrander said last years event weighed over 260 fish, and this year the city is expecting an even larger turnout.

Ticket sales began Aug. 21 and will be available throughout the weekend at Three Bears and at the Kenai Visitors Center.

All of the profits made from the event will go back to maintaining the Kenai River, Ostrander said.

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