IMPORTANT: Starting with the 2015 derby, NO TICKETS will be sold at launch ramps and ALL TICKET SALES END on the Wednesday before the derby. See the tickets page for more details on how to get tickets.

IMPORTANT: These rules are not expected to change. Nevertheless, Gardiner Salmon Derby Association reserves the right to adjust these rules to meet the requirements of the derby and any situations that may arise. As stated in section 5.d, “Derby officials have final word on any disputes about Derby rules, awarding of prizes, or other Derby matters.”

Also please see the Frequently Asked Questions for details on how the derby will run.

The following text is taken from the 2015 brochure. Clarifications are added in [square brackets]. Where the rules refer to “Fishing Guidelines,” “Weigh Stations,” “Schedule,” and the prize list, links are provided to the associated material.

1. Tickets.

a) Derby tickets cost $40 per person ($42.50 online) for 1 or all 3 days. [One ticket is good for the whole derby or for whatever days you go out.]

b) New for 2015: Tickets must be purchased in advance.

c) Participants must have a current Derby ticket prior to fishing. [There are no stickers.]

d) Each person on vessel must have a ticket, whether fishing or not and regardless of age.

e) Ticket purchases are NONREFUNDABLE [and NONTRANSFERRABLE]. Remember: This is a charity. [We rely on every ticket sale. If you can't use your ticket, you may be able to report the cost as a tax deductible donation. In very unusual circumstances, IF you contact us before the derby, and IF the situation warrants, we may consider allowing you to transfer a ticket to somebody who will fish in your place.]

f) All Derby ticket holders are eligible to fish, including officials.

2. Fishing.

a) You must comply with “Fishing Guidelines”.

b) You are responsible for complying with all Washington State, Coast Guard, and other applicable rules.

c) Entire Derby is Selective Fishery only (“clipped fin”). [See Frequently Asked Questions for comments about the clipped fin restriction.]

3. Submitting fish.

a) Only legal clipped-fin Chinook/Blackmouth salmon at least 22 inches long, submitted during Derby hours with all required data, are eligible for prizes. [See Frequently Asked Questions for comments about the clipped fin restriction.]

b) Only fish weighing six pounds or more will be considered for [all prizes including] “Mystery Fish” prizes. Throw back those shakers! (If in doubt, submit your fish for weighing – as long as it’s legal.) [We usually wind up with hundreds of fish on the ladder. The smallest prize-winners are usually 9-10 pounds, but of course the catch situation is different each year.]

c) Fish must be transported by boat (via water) to one of the five official Derby weigh stations/launch ramps. [See “Weigh Stations”]

d) All fish are subject to inspection by Derby officials and/or fish biologists.

e) All fish are returned immediately (no storage or display) unless you choose to donate a fish to the annual Derby Appreciation Dinner (thanks!). [If you catch a large fish, please consider keeping it on ice and bringing it to the awards ceremony. You might get your picture in the paper! You can clean it first, of course.]

4. Prizes.

a) You (or a representative with your ticket) may claim prizes at the awards ceremony. [See “Schedule” for time and location; also see descriptions of "Top Cash Prizes and "Other Prizes" for further prize details, which are subject to change.]

b) You do NOT need to be present to win, but only IF your ticket is legible and you meet all requirements.

c) Entrants can win more than one prize.

d) Winners of “ladder prizes” (based on weight) choose among all remaining ladder prizes (subject to age restrictions). Absent winners receive the next highest-value prize that can be sent in an envelope. Undeliverable prizes are distributed as officials see fit.

e) First fish recorded at any weight wins a tie; coin toss decides identical times.

f) Ticket holder names and phone numbers (plus other contact data IF authorized on ticket, and which may be used by NMTA sponors for marketing purposes) are entered in the Northwest Salmon Derby Series boat giveaway [see "Prize Boat" details].

g) Award decisions are final, regardless of errors. Any preliminary standings are for amusement only.

h) At awards ceremony, 50% of cash raffle proceeds go to one or more winner(s); for example, if $600 is collected, $300 will be raffled as one or more prizes. Officials will announce the total collected and the value of each prize; minimum prize is $100. Raffle tickets are only sold at ceremony; ticket holders must be over 21 and must be present to win.

i) Tax information is required for prizes worth $600 or more; such prizes may be sent by mail shortly after the Derby.

5. Responsibility.

a) You participate in the Derby at your own risk. You agree to hold Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, volunteers, and sponsors harmless for any damages, and you waive all claims against them. In particular, by choosing to participate, you agree that fishing is inherently dangerous and you accept responsibility for your own safety and for any damage that may occur.

b) This Derby is independent of the Northwest Marine Trade Association (sponsor of Northwest Salmon Derby Series), which is responsible for all Series matters including boat giveaways. [The derby is part of the NMTA Salmon Derby Series, but the two organizations are distinct, and make independent decisions.]

c) The Derby is not responsible for errors or accidents, nor for any announced or unannounced changes in rules, schedules, or policies.

d) Derby officials have final word on any disputes about Derby rules, awarding of prizes, or other Derby matters. Please remember that we are all volunteers supporting a charity.

e) If you observe a crime, report it to police or Coast Guard; if you observe a violation of Derby Rules, report it to Derby officials via VHF channel 68. Derby officials may ban violators, withhold prizes, or impose other remedies.