Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby

Rules (General)

IMPORTANT: 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 below in section 5: “Derby officials have the 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 directly from the current brochure. Clarifications may be added in [square brackets]. Where the rules refer to “Fishing Guidelines,” “Weigh Stations,” “Schedule,” and the prize list, see the related material on this website.


1. Tickets
a) Derby tickets cost $40 per person ($44 online) for 1 or all 3 days.
b) Again in 2017: Tickets must be purchased in advance.
c) Participants must have a current Derby ticket prior to fishing.
d) Each person on vessel must have a ticket, whether fishing or not and regardless of age.
e) Ticket purchases are NONREFUNDABLE. Remember: This is a charity.
f) All Derby ticket holders are eligible to fish, including officials.2. Fishing
a) You must comply with “Fishing Guidelines” in this brochure.
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”).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.
b) Only fish weighing six pounds or more will be considered for “Mystery Fish” prizes. Throw back those shakers! (If in doubt, submit your fish for weighing – as long as it’s legal.)
c) Fish must be transported by boat (via water) to one of the five official Derby weigh stations/launch ramps.
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!).4. Prizes
a) You (or a representative with your ticket) may claim prizes at the awards ceremony.
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) By entering the Derby and/or entering to win the 2017 Derby Series Grand Prize Boat, each angler or participant acknowledges and agrees that his or her contact information may be made available to Mercury Marine and NMTA; and each entrant further acknowledges that he or she may be contacted by Mercury Marine or NMTA. Anglers and participants who prefer not to be contacted by sponsors should send an email to info@nwsalmonderbyseries.com advising the Northwest Salmon Derby Series not to share their contact information with third parties.
g) Award decisions are final, regardless of errors. Any preliminary standings are for information 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.
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.

Fishing Guidelines

These guidelines have been taken from the current brochure.

  • Catch/submit fish only during Derby hours within area boundaries. [See “Schedule” and “Map”]
  • Please check the latest WDFW regulations for the latest Marine Area catch limits. Area 6 is currently limited to Clipped Blackmouth Salmon, 2 per angler per day; Area 7, 1 fish limit; and Area 9, 1 fish limit. Size minimum: 22 inches. Release Coho and wild Chinook in all areas.
  • All fish of six pounds or more are eligible for [all prizes, including] “Mystery Fish” prizes!
  • Please consider donating fish to our community’s annual Appreciation Dinner.
  • All fish will be returned after weighing-no cleaning and storage.
  • VHF channel 68: Derby announcements.
  • VHF channel 16: Emergencies.
  • You are responsible for conforming to all state/federal rules, such as:
  • Valid fishing license required
  • Only one fishing pole [at a time] per person
  • Pole to be hand-held while landing fish [and no stationary poles or facsimiles]
  • Single-point barbless hooks only
  • Maintain required safety equipment
  • Avoid Protection Island (200-yard limit)
[Also, other rules are at the wdfw.wa.gov website (…and this link is for 2015-16 rules)]

Launch Fees

There are five main launch ramps within the derby area. Each has a weigh station. The port of Port Townsend has agreed to waive launch fees for derby anglers this year, however launch fees are applicable at Ediz Hook.


This information is taken from the current brochure.

  • Friday/Saturday: Daylight to 3:00 PM [Note that you must be AT THE WEIGH STATION (e.g. in line at the dock) at the closing time. You won’t be penalized if there is a line to get fish weighed-everybody will get entered-but if you are still planing in off the water at the cutoff time, then you are too late! This is the only way it can be fair for everybody. Plan to get in with a little time to spare!]
  • Sunday: Daylight to 1:00 PM
  • Weigh stations open at 8:00 AM each day
  • AWARDS CEREMONY: Sunday at 3:00 PM at Gardiner Boat Ramp (see map)
  • -Cash prize raffle!

Weigh Stations at Each Launch Ramp

Reminder: There are no ticket sales during the derby at any location.

As stated in the brochure, there are five launch ramps with weigh stations:

  • Freshwater Bay Boat Ramp [‘A’ on map]
  • Off Rt. 112, near Joyce
  • Ediz Hook Boat Ramp [‘B’ on map]
  • Near Coast Guard Station at end of the hook
  • John Wayne Marina [‘C’ on map]
  • On West Sequim Bay Rd., near Rt. 101
  • Gardiner Boat Ramp [‘D’ on map]
  • On Gardiner Beach Rd., near Rt. 101
  • Port Townsend Boat Haven [‘E’ on map]
  • At Boat Haven gas dock (Fish’n Hole)

Click here for a summary of launch fees.

All weigh stations open at 8:00 AM on each day.