‘A History of Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing’ tells stories from the Sound

by Tim Flanagan on June 23, 2011

Whidbey Island resident Russ Christianson’s new book ‘A History of Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing’ relives derby life on the Sound

Wayne Kruse has the story in the Everett Herald:

Puget Sound salmon derbies came on the scene in the early 1930s and, doctor of course, continue today. But the culmination of the really big-time events came in 1981, ’82 and ’83 with the "Million Dollar" derbies sponsored during Seattle Seafair by Schucks Auto Supply and covered by national television.

In 1981 and ’82, a single tagged coho, worth a cool million if caught on derby day, was released somewhere in Puget Sound prior to the event. The first coho was caught two weeks after the derby, near Tacoma, and the fisherman was awarded a $10,000 consolation prize. The second tagged fish, 1982, evaded derby-day anglers as well, but was caught later, off Whidbey Island. That fisherman made a serious mistake, however. He kept the yellow-plastic-tagged coho’s body, but cut off and discarded the head — which contained a coded wire insert put there to insure the plastic tag wasn’t a phony.

That guy got zip for his million-dollar fish.

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