VALDEZ, Alaska – When Chinda Heston of Valdez hooked into a 14.88 pound silver salmon she told everyone on the boat they were heading right back to Port to weigh-in for the Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby. Close to 600 women registered for the 2017 Women’s Silver Salmon derby and they cheered on Heston at the Valdez Civic Center as she was crowned “Queen of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood”. Heston said everyone on her boat caught several fish, but when she hooked into her big fish she told them, “Get back to the harbor now”. Heston, who is from Thailand and lives in Valdez now, said she caught her fish near the waterfalls by the narrows and they were fishing at a depth of about 50 feet. Heston said this is the biggest fish she has ever caught and it gave her a good fight for a solid 10 minutes before she brought it on board. There were 595 women registered for the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby and the weigh-in was hopping with close to 500 women weighing in their top fish for a chance to win a prize. The Women’s Derby awards prizes for the top 50 fish.

The fact that fish were plentiful by the Valdez narrows is good news for the Valdez silver salmon derby. The run of silver salmon into Port Valdez was disappointing last year, but it is looking good for the 2017 season. “There are a lot of fish out there and they are beautiful fish”, commented Rick Ballow as he waited with his wife and her friends to weigh-in fish Saturday. “I understand they caught really big silver out at Naked Island. I think we’re going to have a 20 pound winner this year”, he said.
With silver salmon already showing up at the narrows, the fishing should be good from shore at Allison Point and in Port Valdez the final weeks of the derby. Most of those trolling on Saturday had success trolling at a depth of 40 to 70 feet. Hot spots this weekend were Potato Point, Jacks Bay, Galena Bay and the Narrows.

Frieda Wiley is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 347 pound halibut she caught August 6th. Her fish set a new record for the largest fish ever caught in the Valdez Halibut Derby. Her catch last week moved Tim Stadtmiller of Fairbanks down to 2nd place overall in the derby with the 266.6 pound halibut he caught June 19th. Grant Stultz from Reston, VA caught a 182.2 pound halibut August 8th to get into the overall standings at 3rd place.

Both the Valdez Halibut Derby and Valdez Silver Salmon Derbies boast a $15,000 first place prize for the largest fish and run through Sunday, September 3rd at noon. More information about the Valdez Derbies can be found at


Halibut Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Frieda Wiley                Valdez, AK                  374.0 lbs.         Aug 6               Dan Orion
2nd        Tim Stadtmiller         Fairbanks, AK             266.6 lbs.         June 19          Dan Orion
3rd        Grant Stultz                Reston, VA                  182.2 lbs.         Aug 8               Dan Orion


Halibut Derby – Weekly Winners

1st           Frieda Wiley               Valdez, AK                 347.0 lbs.         Aug 6              Dan Orion
2nd        Grant Stultz                Reston, VA                 182.2 lbs.         Aug 8              Dan Orion


Silver Derby – Overall Leaders

1st        Cole Baxter                 Fayetteville, GA         15.62 lbs.         July 26             Shark Tooth Charter
2nd        Chinda Heston                        Valdez, AK                 14.88 lbs.         Aug 12                        Sandi
3rd        H. Charles Sparks       Fairbanks, AK             14.50 lbs.         Aug 6              Patriot



Valdez Women’s Silver Salmon Derby
2017 – TOP 50


Place Name Hometown

Fish Weight

1st Chinda Heston Valdez, AK 14.88 lbs.
2nd Kristina Bragg Fairbanks, AK 14.58 lbs.
3rd Sandra Virguez Valdez, AK 13.44 lbs.
4th Corrine Garrison North Pole, AK 13.00 lbs.
5th Shantel Weidner Delta Jct, AK 12.98 lbs.
6th Rhetta Hosier Delta Jct. AK 12.94 lbs.
7th Sara Williams Valdez, AK 12.86 lbs.
8th Bonnie Saxum Valdez, AK 12.76 lbs.
9th Lori Young North Pole, AK 12.74 lbs.
10th Kamille Mulcaire Cornville, AZ 12.68 lbs.
11th Abigail Creer North Pole, AK 12.68 lbs.
12th Suzie Koklich Valdez, AK 12.68 lbs.
13th Shawn Wise North Pole, AK 12.66 lbs.
14th T.C. Corbin-Greene Valdez, AK 12.64 lbs.
15th Marcia Cassino North Pole, AK 12.56 lbs.
16th Dana McAlpine Anchorage, AK 12.52 lbs.
17th Carrie Littlejohn Fairbanks, AK 12.50 lbs.
18th Baily Bryant Gillette, WY 12.48 lbs.
19th Marika Poor Davenport, FL 12.44 lbs.
20th Bernadette Meyers Cottonwood, AZ 12.38 lbs.
21st Jodi Blakley Fairbanks, AK 12.28 lbs.
22nd Kay Homme Valdez, AK 12.24 lbs.
23rd Samantha Boschert North Pole, AK 12.22 lbs.
24th Mary Casey Valdez, AK 12.16 lbs.
25th Sarah Rountree Valdez, AK 12.16 lbs.
26th Kate Foster Valdez, AK 12.10 lbs.
27th Paige Schell Valdez, AK 12.08 lbs.
28th Karen Dullen Fairbanks, AK 12.04 lbs.
29th Amber Poppe Haywood, WI 11.94 lbs.
30th Bonnie Hinkle Salcha, AK 11.88 lbs.
31st Jennifer Anderson Delta Jct. AK 11.88 lbs.
32nd Antoinette Brewer Fairbanks, AK 11.82 lbs.
33rd Bailey Carlson Fairbanks, AK 11.82 lbs.
34th DaNell Prindiville Andover, MN 11.78 lbs.
35th Serena Fitka Valdez, AK 11.70 lbs.
36th Theresa Ace Valdez, AK 11.60 lbs.
37th Laurine Regan Valdez, AK 11.60 lbs.
38th Lorrie Mott Valdez, AK 11.50 lbs.
39th Krystal Moulton Valdez, AK 11.40 lbs.
40th Nancy Chaffin Valdez, AK 11.38 lbs.
41st Diane St. Amand Valdez, AK 11.36 lbs.
42nd Carey Fletcher Wasilla, AK 11.36 lbs.
43rd Twilah Beck Valdez, AK 11.28 lbs.
44th Donna Stream Albany, OR 11.24 lbs.
45th Terri Olsen Fairbanks, AK 11.22 lbs.
46th Sasithon Jenn Valdez, AK 11.18 lbs.
47th Natalie Chamberlain Fairbanks, AK 11.18 lbs.
48th Tamara Deming Wasilla, AK 11.16 lbs.
49th Christine Canfield Anchorage, AK 11.16 lbs.
50th Sherri Witzel Fairbanks, AK

11.10 lbs.