Seward Chamber of Commerce                                Michelle Murray, of Eagle River, and her two children show off the 2019 Seward Silver Salmon Derby winning fish caught at the head of Resurrection Bay on the F/V Joe Legacy. Murray took home a $10,000 prize for largest fish.

Seward Chamber of Commerce Michelle Murray, of Eagle River, and her two children show off the 2019 Seward Silver Salmon Derby winning fish caught at the head of Resurrection Bay on the F/V Joe Legacy. Murray took home a $10,000 prize for largest fish.

Salmon Derby won by fractions of a pound

First place, and $10,000, was earned for a silver weighing 15.99 pounds.

The Seward Silver Salmon Derby ended in a close competition this weekend, with the top three fish just barely missing the 16-pound mark.

“This is the most competitive tournament we’ve seen in recent years,” said Seward Chamber of Commerce Communications Director Jen Leahy. “The top three fish were separated by only a few fractions of a pound.”

First place, and $10,000, went to Michelle Murray, of Eagle River, with a silver weighing 15.99 pounds. Second place and $5,000 went to Angela Garner, of Wichita, Kansas, with a 15.97-pound fish and third place and $2,500 was taken by Ron Goodwin, of Wasilla, with a 15.96-pound fish.

Each of the top three winners also took home the entire weight of their winning fish in Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

This was Murray’s first year participating in the Silver Salmon Derby, Leahy said. She was fishing with her children for the first time and didn’t realize the significance of her fish until she saw the look on her dad’s face.

The tournament ran from Aug. 10 through Aug. 18 and invited anglers from all over to fish the waters outside of Seward for the returning silver salmon.

Unlike Murray, most anglers return year after year to partake in the competition.

“What sets our derby apart is our community of dedicated anglers,” Leahy said. “For several generations of Alaskans, this has become an end-of-summer tradition and a celebration of our salmon culture.”

The competition may have closed but Leahy said that their is still plenty of opportunity to bring in some silver salmon this season.

“Although this year’s derby is over, we expect the silver fishing to continue to pick up well into September,” she said. According to Fish and Game, there still aren’t any solid reports of silvers being caught from shore in Seward. The fish are being caught just past Caines Head.

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