Police Chief David Ross spins the Magic Weight wheels at Three Bears on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, with a crowd cheering the results of the Kenai Silver Salmon Derby in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo Divining Point, LLC)

Police Chief David Ross spins the Magic Weight wheels at Three Bears on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, with a crowd cheering the results of the Kenai Silver Salmon Derby in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo Divining Point, LLC)

Kenai Silver Salmon Derby kicks off next week

The derby is open to ticket-holding participants for silver salmon caught from the Kenai River.

The Fourth Annual Kenai Silver Salmon Derby will take place next week from Sept. 15-20.

The derby is open to ticket-holding participants for silver salmon caught from the Kenai River. Participants are limited to three fish per day or the legal daily bag limit as determined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, depending on what is smaller.

In order to be eligible for consideration, all fish must be caught from the Kenai River, must be caught on a rod and reel, must be fresh, whole and uncut, must be brought to the weigh station in a container and must be in compliance with Alaska Department of Fish & Game regulations, according to the event website. Additionally, no proxy fish are allowed.

Fish should be brought to the Three Bears in Kenai between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday or Saturday, or between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday to be weighed.

Prizes are awarded using a Magic Weight that is randomly selected at the end of each day of the derby. The weight is selected by spinning two wheels. The first is numbered 4-23 and represents pounds. The second is numbered 0-9, and is spun twice: first to determine tenths of a pound and second to determine hundredths of a pound.

Each day, prizes are awarded to registered participants whose fish are closest to the Magic Weight. The youth daily and overall prizes are $50 and $500, respectively. The adult daily and overall prizes are $100 and $3,000, respectively. Overall prizes are awarded on the final day of the derby and are available to all participants, regardless of whether or not the participant has also won a daily prize. People 16 years old and younger are eligible to participate in the youth category.

According to the event website, the use of the Magic Weight “reduces selective fishing practices that focus exclusively on the biggest fish,” which result in catch-and-release injuries that can compromise the health of the Kenai River’s silver salmon population. Any fish weighing more than 4 pounds is eligible.

Tickets for the derby can be purchased at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Three Bears and cost $10 daily or $50 for the entire derby.

More information can be found on the event website at https://kenaisilversalmonderby.com/.

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