Warrior and Widows derby coming soon
August 18, 2022
An army of volunteers is getting ready to host 30 veterans and nine members of Gold Star families, including six kids, for this year’s Warriors and Widows Salmon Derby, scheduled for August 30 and 31.
Invitations have been sent to one first responder from each local district as well.
The annual event was created by the late Bud Mickelsen as a thank you to men and women for their military service, and it pairs the guests with anglers who take them out for a day of fishing on the Columbia River.
After getting settled into their accommodations at the Hotel Cathlamet, the cabins at the Elochoman Slough Marina, and the Columbia River Ranch, the guests will head to the marina for a big salmon dinner prepared by local volunteers and meet their skippers.
The following morning, bright and early, they’ll grab breakfast and a sack lunch, and head out on the river. For some it may be the first time.
Because it’s a derby, those lucky enough to snag a fish will have to be back by 2 p.m. to have their fish weighed.
There will be lots of prizes, more food, and if the past is anything to go by, lots of laughter.
According to Stephanie Johnson, who is on the event’s board, about 30-35 skippers have volunteered their time to take participants out for the day of fishing. Many are locals, but some travel to the area every year just to volunteer.
Johnson, a teacher, will miss the fishing this year because of work, but is looking forward to meeting the veterans and Gold Star family members at the big salmon dinner.
“I just like to see them happy,” she said. “Positive breeds positive. We live in a beautiful place.”