PRESS RELEASE – 2019 Winner

2019 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby

Mark Thompson wins $10,000 First Prize with 19.35lb catch


GARDINER, WA, March 11, 2019. The 2019 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby concluded its three-day run with Mark Thompson from Clinton, WA winning the $10,000 first prize. Thompson caught his 19.35lb blackmouth in Marine Area 9 on Friday morning and it was weighed at the Port Townsend weigh station. No fish came close to his winning weight during the derby, and the second and third place fish were also caught on Friday. Second place ($2,000) was won by Don Hansen from Port Angeles, WA who caught his 13.9lb fish in Marine Area 6 that was weighed in at the Gardiner launch ramp. Chris Gregerson from Poulsbo, WA received the $1,000 third prize for his 13.65lb catch, also caught in Marine Area 9 and weighed in at Port Townsend. 762 tickets were sold for this year’s event, which was held in March for the second consecutive year instead of its usual President’s Day weekend time slot. “The second week in March is now Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby’s regular time slot as the weather was pretty spectacular and much better than our previous February dates,” said Gardiner Salmon Derby Association President, Kathy Watrous. 237 fish weighed in at 6lbs or more, with an average fish weight of 7.95lbs compared to the 2018 count of 232 fish averaging 8.0 lbs. The prize ladder value was $20,241, including four $500 mystery fish prizes. Mystery fish prize winners were: Ken Blankenship, Poulsbo, WA; Jordon Bond, Sequim, WA; Jared Gates, Ferndale, WA; and Andrew Sauvage, Seattle, WA.

The Gardiner Salmon Derby Association sponsors this annual event, with proceeds going to community support, emergency services, and high school scholarships. The derby started in 1973 and is run by volunteers from Gardiner and surrounding areas. The Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby is a part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series, and all ticket holders are now eligible to win the grand prize Derby Series boat valued at $75,000 which will be awarded in September.  Additional details about this year’s derby and the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association can be found at or www.facebook/salmonderby

Kathy Watrous, Gardiner Salmon Derby President

Mark Thompson, right holding his 19.35lb salmon that took the $10,000 first prize at the 2019 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby. His wife Kristi Thompson is on the left, and Gardiner Salmon Derby Association President, Kathy Watrous, center holds the $10,000 check.

They are standing in front of the 2019 Northwest Salmon Derby Series Grand Prize Boat valued at $75,000. Every derby entrant received an entry for the boat drawing which will be held in September.