VOCAL EXERCISES - Artist in the Schools instructor Sarah Branton of Cherry Creek, Colorado, leads an exercise in the Sitka High School band room this morning as she teaches students how to improve their volume. Branton will be here all week working with choirs at Blatchley Middle School and Sitka High. Her instruction is part of the effort to rebuild school  choir programs and numbers following the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

SE Conference Opens Way for Cruise Plan
26 Sep 2023 14:48

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer City Administrator John Leach says Southeast Conference  [ ... ]

Early Voting Under Way in Oct. 3 City Election
26 Sep 2023 14:40

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Voting has been slow in the seven days since early votin [ ... ]

Choir Master Leads Off Artists in Schools Season
26 Sep 2023 14:38

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Sitka School District welcomed an Artist in the Scho [ ... ]

Careers in Fishing Face Host of Obstacles
26 Sep 2023 14:35

By JOSHUA A. BICKEL  The Associated Press KODIAK (AP) — Lane Bolich first came to work in Alask [ ... ]

September 26, 2023, Police Blotter
26 Sep 2023 14:31

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: September 25 At 7:07 a.m. a bear was re [ ... ]

September 26, 2023, Community Happenings
26 Sep 2023 14:30

BMS Podcast Club to Register Sixth- through eighth-grade students can register for the Blatchley P [ ... ]

Assembly to Award $45,000 to Nonprofits
25 Sep 2023 15:36

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Assembly will conduct its annual distribution of cit [ ... ]

St. Michael's Icon Helps Raise Funds for Priests
25 Sep 2023 15:33

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer As part of fundraising aimed at increasing the stipend re [ ... ]

Alaska Relaxes Rules On Marijuana Ads, Samples
25 Sep 2023 15:29

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom has signed new regulations that allo [ ... ]

U.S. Judge Asked to Order Mine to Let Inspectors I...
25 Sep 2023 15:28

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a U.S. D [ ... ]

September 25, 2023, Community Happenings
25 Sep 2023 15:22

Natural Resources Discussed at Meet Sitka Tribe’s Natural Resource Committee will meet 6:30 p.m. [ ... ]

September 25, 2023, Police Blotter
25 Sep 2023 15:20

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: September 22 At 9:34 a.m. trash was rep [ ... ]

Heating Grant Expands Uses of SFAC Building
22 Sep 2023 15:13

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Sitka Fine Arts Camp has received a $372,000 grant from  [ ... ]

Sullivan Tells of Plans to Protect Fisheries
22 Sep 2023 15:12

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan emphasized the importance o [ ... ]

Sitka's Keet Named a National Blue Ribbon School
22 Sep 2023 15:11

By Sentinel Staff Sitka’s Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbo [ ... ]

Permanent Fund Payout Set at $1,312 This Year
22 Sep 2023 15:09

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will be $1,312. The Al [ ... ]

Sullivan On New Path To Picking U.S. Judge
22 Sep 2023 15:08

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has picked a nine-member pa [ ... ]

September 22, 2023, Police Blotter
22 Sep 2023 14:27

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: September 21 At 5:08 a.m. assistance wa [ ... ]

September 22, 2023, Community Happenings
22 Sep 2023 14:25

Climate Connection -- Sitka’s Probable Temperature Futurehe nonprofit Probable Futures has map [ ... ]

Sen. Murkowski: 'Shutdowns Hurt'
21 Sep 2023 15:41

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke in opposition to a  [ ... ]

Sitkans Being Asked About Access to Food
21 Sep 2023 15:39

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer How many days of food do you have available in your home [ ... ]

SE Conference Told of $1M Housing Grant
21 Sep 2023 15:36

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing a $1 mil [ ... ]

Study: Half of Those Born In Alaska Haven’t Stayed...
21 Sep 2023 14:45

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon More than half of Alaskans born within the state have moved away, ac [ ... ]

Legislators to Skip Fall Special Session
21 Sep 2023 14:43

By JAMES BROOKS Alaska Beacon The Alaska Legislature will not meet in a special session this fall  [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sitka Salmon Derby To Launch Saturday


Sentinel Staff Writer

Anglers with a passion for catching king salmon are gearing up for the Sitka Salmon Derby – two weekends of high-intensity fishing which launch Saturday.

This year marks the 68th derby, which is run by the Sitka Sportsman’s Association.

For derby chairman John McCrehin the event signifies the start of summer, and a chance for families to enjoy time together out on the water.

“It’s the kickoff to summer and school’s out. You’ve got families doing picnics and camp-outs and this is kind of the kickoff to it,” McCrehin told the Sentinel. “We have every combination of family members fishing against family members that you can come up with.”

He sees derby entrants “that I remember when they started out at six years old, and now they’re up there in their own boat and still fishing against their parents.”

Last year’s derby winner was Savanah Plank, who reeled in a 40.2 pound Chinook. Her husband and two children are shown in the photo of Plank and her winning fish, an example of McCrehin’s observation on the family aspect of the derby.

The derby fishing limits cover Sitka Sound and outlying waters from Salisbury Sound in the north to Crawfish Inlet in the south.

So far this spring, McCrehin has heard reports of salmon up north, but he noted that things can change quickly.

“It’s like tourists – they can be anywhere. So by Saturday when we start they could be south, they could be right out here in the channel. Who knows?”

The derby begins at 7 a.m. Saturday and runs through the 3-day Memorial Day weekend. It will resume for the final two days on Saturday, June 3. Check-in stations close at 7 p.m. daily. Along with the hand-built barge, which McCrehin refers to as “salmon central,” in Crescent Harbor, there are two outlying check-in stations. One is in Kalinin Bay up north, manned by Sarah and Eric Jordan on the F/V I Gotta, and the second is south of Sitka at Goddard, manned by Mike Svenson and Mike White. These stations will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on derby days, except on Monday (Memorial Day), and on Sunday, June 4, when the derby concludes at 7 p.m.

Rain showers are likely this Saturday, and precipitation is almost certain on Sunday, the National Weather Service predicts.

“We just hope for good weather and everybody’s safe. It’s the priority,” said McCrehin, who has been the chairman aboard the Crescent Harbor barge for 23 years now.  He is also president of the Sitka Sportsman’s Association.

Fish entered in the derby are sold to Sitka Sound Seafoods, with proceeds going toward operating the next year’s derby and funding scholarships.

Derby fish are weighed in the round. The prize for the biggest fish is a pair of Alaska Airlines vouchers worth up to $2,500 along with $10,000 cash. Second place wins $5,000, while third is a power hauler. There also are many other prizes that are based on a variety of criteria.

New this year is the Chuck McGraw Jr. memorial contest, a team fishing challenge that will reward those who enter the greatest daily poundage of fish.

The all-time derby record for heaviest fish was set in 1956 when Connie See won the very first derby with a 73 pound, 6 ounce, king. Most derby-winning fish entered since 2000 have been under 50 pounds, with the heaviest since then a 66.5-pound king caught by Sharon Gillispie in 2002.

A state fishing license and king salmon stamp are required to enter the derby, and kings must be 28 inches or longer to be legal under state regulations.

Registration costs $25 for one day and increases by $5 for every additional day fished to a total of $45 for all five days. A five-day family ticket costs $75.

The awards will be handed out at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 15, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.


You have no rights to post comments

Login Form




At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

Sitka Tribe of Alaska is “upset and disturbed” about the Senate appropriations bill that cuts spending for Alaska tribal courts, STA Vice Chairman Gil Truitt said today. He was referring to Sen. Ted Stevens’ move to divert Department of Justice grants from tribal courts and tribal police officers to fund the Village Public Safety Officer program.



September 1973

Photo caption: Receiving service pins at a Carpenters Union Local 466 dinner meeting at the Kiksadi Club were, from left, Arthur Littlefield, Alvin Helm, Harley Finch, Dave Gibson, Gerald Hughes, Fred Nelson, Walter Moy, Edward Nelson, William Sutton and Don Stromme.


No Images


No Images


No Images