Derby leader Steven Oyler

Steven Oyler (middle) poses with the 14.59-pound silver that is the defending leader in the 2022 Silver Salmon Derby.

The clouds may be keeping the sun from the 67th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby, but the fishers have been undeterred by the rain. After its fifth day of competition, the derby continues to see fierce competition among anglers, with winning fish dethroning their predecessors several times over since the derby began, according to event organizer and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kat Sorensen.

“The derby is off to a rainy start, definitely a typical August in Seward, so we’re excited to still see a lot of anglers get out and going onto the water despite the rain,” Sorensen said. “We’ve had the leader change two or three times now, and overall, we’ve been having a really fun week over at the top of B-dock at the derby booth.”

The current winning fish as of this writing was hauled in on Tuesday by Steven Oyler of Anchorage. The colossal catch weighed in at 14.59 pounds, over half a pound heavier than last year’s final winner and over a pound heavier than the previous year. Sorensen said that although it will be difficult to top, anglers will have until noon on Sunday to unseat the current leader.

“We called our judges down to confirm, and he is now in the lead with that really heavy fish,” Sorensen said. “We’ll see if that weight stands through the remainder of the derby. Anglers are still able to register any day of the derby from now through Sunday.”

Sorensen said that in addition to heaviest fish, cumulative weight prizes and daily random prizes are also being awarded, and that several competitive categories still remain unentered.

“We haven’t had any entries yet into the kayak fishing category,” she said, “so if you have a kayak and you want to try and win a prize, that one’s still available, or a sailboat too. No sailboat entries either.”

Sorensen also said that fish of any size are eligible for the daily random prizes.

“No matter how big your fish is, you should bring it in and weigh it because we’ve been giving out a lot of daily prizes,” she said. “There’s $50 and cruises for two on Kenai Fjords Tours. The winner of that one last night, a 3.89-pound fish won a Kenai Fjords tour, so anybody can win.”

Anglers still wishing to participate may register at at any time before 9 a.m. on the days for which they are registering.