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Home Derby Info Official Derby Rules

2023 Golden North Salmon Derby Rules
PLEASE READ! Don't run the risk of being disqualified!

Pink & chum salmon will not be accepted. All fish must be uncleaned, presented in the round. Derby participants are encouraged to return pink and chum salmon unharmed to the water unless they are retained for personal consumption.
       • Click here for guidelines on how to handle your fish
       • Click here for a salmon species identity chart

All Salmon accepted for scholarship prizes become property of the Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. A contestant must show his or her validated Derby ticket when presenting fish for weighing. ALL FISH MUST BE PRESENTED UNCLEANED IN THE ROUND! Fish to be weighed should be turned in as soon as possible, as significant weight loss begins as soon as the fish leaves the water. All fish, including scholarship fish, should be iced as soon as possible. Dark fish will not be accepted and the decision of a Derby official is final. Fish may be opened and checked in the presence of Derby officials.

Fish quality. Salmon that show evidence of contamination, sun burn, bruising and/or flesh deterioration will not be accepted. Dark fish will not be accepted and the decision of a Derby official is final. Help us maintain fish quality. Fish must be uncleaned in the round.

Derby entry fee and tickets.

  • Contestants 13 years and older must purchase a $50 entry ticket
  • Contestants 6 to 12 years of age must purchase a $10 entry ticket
These tickets are good for all days of the derby. No refund of entry fees will be made. Contestants must validate their tickets on the first day of their fishing and may stay out on the Derby grounds all three days.

Derby officials. Derby officials are at the boat docks and harbors. Contestants must take their fish to these officials for checking and weighing to become eligible to enter the competition for one of the top 77 fish or other prizes.

Eligibility. Any person who has a validated Derby entry ticket is eligible to fish in the Derby. You must be at born before August 11, 2017 to participate in the derby (6 years of age). Children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. A person with a child ticket weighing a fish must be accompanied by an adult holding a validated derby ticket. Derby officials will check derby tickets of people accompanying a child weighing-in a fish. The person who weighs in the fish must be the person who caught the fish. In the case of a protest the anglers may be requested to pass of polygraph test.

Entrants may not fish with non-entrants. Non-entrants, regardless of age, may not fish in the same boat with entrants, but may go along for the enjoyment of the outing.

Entrant must be the angler. The person turning in a fish for a prize, must be the same person who actually caught that fish, or they will be disqualified. Also, in the case of a protest, the angler may be requested to take a polygraph test.

Tackle. Only lawful sport fishing tackle may be used.

Boat fishing only.Derby participation is restricted to fishing from vessels. Fish taken by dock fishing or shore fishing will not be accepted. All fish must be delivered in the round, uncleaned, to an official weigh-in station by vessel only.

Turning is a fish at Official Weigh-in StationWeighing fish. Only the following stations will have the weighing scales that must be used for official weighing of salmon.
Amalga Harbor
Auke Bay MOVED!
Auke Nu Cove (near Ferry Terminal)
Douglas Harbor
Click here for official locations of Derby weigh-in stations

Shoreside weigh-in times. Friday and Saturday 7:30am-7:00pm. Sunday 7:30am-6:00pm

Validation of tickets. Eight validating stations will be open. NOT ALL VALIDATION STATIONS ARE WEIGH-IN STATIONS. Tickets can be validated by the following schedule:
Amalga Harbor**
Auke Bay**
Auke Nu Cove**
Aurora Basin*
Douglas Boat Harbor**
Fisherman's Bend*
Harris Harbor*
North Douglas Boat Ramp* 
Tee Harbor*
*Friday and Saturday only
**Sunday validation ends at 6:00pm

Once a contestant has validated, The contestant may not take a boat out of the Derby area limits, except that Swanson Harbor and Port Snettisham are open for overnight anchorage. The contestant may return the boat to the harbor or take a boat from the water to trailer home. The contestant may return a boat to a harbor even if the contestant has a weigh-in fish but does not return to the harbor during official weigh-in hours.

Firearms. Use of firearms from any boat will disqualify all contestants on that boat from the Derby.

Signal bomb. A closing signal will be sounded near the three shore-based official weigh-in stations (Douglas Harbor, Amalga Harbor, Auke Bay Harbor) at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, by which time all boats wishing to enter fish at the weigh-in stations for one of the top 77 prizes must be inside the finish line.

Boats, speed, and limits. Every vessel propelled by machinery, regardless of horsepower, must have its name or number clearly displayed. Speed of all vessels during the Derby, while within the reduced-speed areas (see map) is limited to five (5) m.p.h. or less to avoid large wakes. Markers to indicate the reduced speed zones near the three shore-based weigh-in stations have been placed at reasonable distances from the station.

Derby area limits.
Waters open to Derby Participants are described as follows:

North boundary lines – those waters South of a line from Pt. Bridget (58.40.699N, 134.59.25W) on the mainland to Pt. Whidbey (58.34.708N, 135.8.261W) on the Chilkat Peninsula; AND, those waters South of a line extending from Cooper Point (58.14.215N,134.6.371W) to the north shore of Greely Point (58.12.864N, 134.5.188W) in Taku Inlet.

South boundary lines – those waters North of a line extending from Pt. Lizard Head (58.10.9N, 134.52.7W) to the south shore of Rocky Island (58.10.6N, 135.03.15W) and then to the south end of Entrance Island (58.11.7N, 135.05.08W), AND, those waters North of a line extending from Twin Point (57.54.642N, 133.59.644W) on the Glass Peninsula, to Point Styleman (57.58.455N, 133.53.958W) on the mainland.

Swanson Harbor and Port Snettisham are open for overnight anchorage, but are outside the Derby grounds.


All other waters are closed to Derby fishing. Official Map of Derby Area Limits


Any boat and all contestants thereon found in violation of speeding, boating outside the Derby area, or in any way posing a hazard to other contestants, shall be disqualified from the Derby.

Awards Night. Derby prizes will be awarded beginning at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 17th, at the JACC. Winners or designated representatives must attend awards night, and must present their entry and weigh-in ticket stubs in order to claim their prizes. TSI asks that only winners or their designated representatives attend the event. The official list of all prize winners will be available here on Wednesday, August 17th. Special social distancing protocols will also be announced on the website and Facebook prior to the Awards Night. Winners of the Scholarship Fund and Special prizes must show their scholarship fish ticket to claim their prize from Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. on awards night.

The Top 50 (plus #77) Prizes! The first 50 contestants catching the largest salmon will have their choice of any one of the prizes except that 1st prize goes to the largest fish and prize number 77 is reserved for the person catching the 77th top weight. After the award of the 1st and 77th place prizes; the 2nd place finisher gets his or her choice of any remaining prize, then the 3rd place winner and so forth until all prizes are claimed. Only one of the top 50 (plus number 77) prizes will be awarded to each contestant. In case of a tie, the earliest entered weighed fish will receive the highest standing. If winners or their designated representative are not present on Awards Night to claim prizes, unclaimed prizes will revert to the Derby Committee for use in recognition of volunteers.

Prize policy and taxes. The Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. is not responsible for any prizes donated by merchants who do not give as pledged. The values shown on the prize list are set by the donors. The Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. will not be responsible if any prizes prove to be less valuable than shown in the donor’s estimate. Taxes on all prizes are the responsibility of the individual winner. In accordance with IRS rules, winners of prizes valued at $600 or more must provide their taxpayer identification number at awards night. Failure to do so will result in withholding the prize.

Protests. Protests of any nature must be made in person at the Officials’ stations. Then the contestant must present his or her case personally to the Board of the Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. at their Derby certification meeting at noon on the Tuesday following the Derby.

Certification. The certification meeting will be at Elgee Rehfeld downstairs Conference Room at noon on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. Decisions of the Board are final.

Special note. Derby participants must comply with the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game sports fishing regulations. Contestants cited for violating these regulations while in the Derby will be disqualified.

Special note. For special prizes and scholarship prizes involving age, the contestant must request that the dock worker note the angler’s age on the weigh-in slip.


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