Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby

Gardiner Salmon Derby Association Mission Statement

“The mission of the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association is to raise funds through its traditional salmon derby (Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby) held annually in Gardiner, WA since the 1970s; to use net derby proceeds in tax-exempt ways that benefit area residents, communities, emergency services or maritime activities. The derby itself is an important community activity. We represent an important historical tradition, and our mission includes preserving and expanding the derby and its many public benefits."


Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby is an annual event run by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a Washington State nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. This event was formerly the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby but was renamed to reflect its huge size and scope.

The first derby under this new name was held in February 2011 and has continued as the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby until the present.

All our net proceeds support area emergency services and other worthwhile causes, including the
Gardiner Community Center. We generate funds through the annual Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby and through direct contributions from area businesses and residents. We use these funds in accordance with our charter, IRS rules, Washington State law, and the wishes of our Board of Directors and our membership.

An ongoing process is used to consider area needs and allocate our available resources to cover them. Area residents are welcome to attend Association meetings, volunteer for derby activities, and participate in our decision-making.
(You can find more information about our use of funds on the FAQ page.)

We have a proud legacy in the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, an event that began in 1973 and ran annually, despite a brief hiatus from 1998 to 2003, until 2009. The name was changed to the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby for the 2011 event.  The derby dates were moved from February to March in 2018 due to the shortening of the salmon season that eliminated February from the season.  The derby has continued to be held the 2nd weekend in March since 2018 to better align with changing salmon seasons and traditionally better weather. 

2019-2020 Gardiner Salmon Derby Board Members

Kathy Watrous, President

Carleton Posey, Vice President

Keith Watrous, Recording Secretary

Darlene Reysack, Corresponding Secretary

Pete Erickson, Treasurer

Mike McComb

Tom Pysher

George Suzuki

Andrew Watson


BBQ Chair, Terry Wood


The Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby has been held for over 40 years and is the oldest participating derby in the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s Northwest Fishing Derby Series.  The derby is hosted by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, a non-profit 401(3)(c), and is run entirely by volunteers in the community.    The derby originally started in 1973 as the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby but was changed to the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby in 2011.   The proceeds from our derby are used within the community for emergency services, scholarships and community support.  2019 proceeds were used to pay for lighting at the newly constructed helipad at Diamond Point Airport, scholarships for students at the Wooden Boat Building School in Port Hadlock, WA, support the Gardiner Community Center, and to purchase equipment for the local CERT team.

Wounded Warriors

Thanks to the generosity of Derby volunteers and area supporters, a number of tickets are available each year for
Wounded Warriors. For more information, or to make a contribution, please contact us.

In addition to free tickets, we will also attempt to find you a space on a boat if you need that as well. This is all handled on a case-by-case basis, and boat spaces are, of course, very limited-so please contact us as early as possible.

Appreciation Dinner Plans

After the derby, the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association holds the corporation’s annual meeting. The meeting is held at the Gardiner Community Center and is followed by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association Salmon Derby Appreciation Pot Luck Dinner. This year the Appreciation Dinner is scheduled to be held on April 25.

The dinner is a potluck meal that honors the members and volunteers who make the derby happen.

The centerpiece of the meal is donated salmon. Everybody should bring a side dish, dessert, salad, appetizer, or similar potluck fare. There is sometimes live music and always a good time.

These pictures are from past Appreciation Dinners.


Map of Derby Boundaries