The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Salmon derby fishers "Hook the Hawg"


Diana Zimmerman

Connor Reichart, 10, of Centralia caught the second biggest fish of the derby, a 19 pounder. It wasn't his first fish, but it was his first salmon.

Hook the Hawg, a fishing derby organized and run every year by the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce as part of their contract for Wahkiakum County Port 1, raised $1,000 for a scholarship to benefit a student at Wahkiakum High School.

Fifty tickets were sold, but only 12 fish were brought in to be weighed, the biggest just a shade under 20 pounds.

The Elochoman Slough Marina was packed all weekend and the weather was fine.

On Saturday, Mark Burlingame of Tacoma stepped up to have his fish weighed. It wasn't enough to win the men's category at only 14.5 pounds, but he and his family were still having fun.

"I catch one most years," he said happily.

"He doesn't catch them very often," his nephew, Noah Burlingame whispered to this reporter with a grin on his face.

"We had a lot of people that were return derby competitors," Chamber Director Meg Morris said. "Cole Battle, the youth category winner, was carrying the fishing pole he won at the last derby when I sold him a ticket."

"People were really excited about this year's cash prizes," she continued. "Saturday was a beautiful day to be out on the water. People had all their crazy gear and there wasn't any parking spaces left at the marina. It was filled to the brim with trucks, boats, boat trailers, RVs, and tons of dogs out with their owners. It was just a super fun atmosphere."


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