Labor Day Salmon Derby in Reedsport, Winchester Bay, Gardiner.

A $500 cash prize is up for grabs if you haul in the “heaviest salmon overall” at the 23rd Annual Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay Salmon Derby held this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-5.

The derby is an annual fundraiser for the Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP group that focuses on raising hatchery fall Chinook salmon for the lower Umpqua River. Working with ODFW, the group’s goal is to raise 100,000 fall Chinook which contribute about 2,000 returning adults for anglers to harvest. Derby funds go directly to helping raise these fish.

Derby hours are Saturday and Sunday from daylight to 6:00 p.m. and Monday, daylight to noon. Tickets are $10 for individual and $25 per private boat and are sold in Reedsport at Ace Hardware, the Recreation Station and Turman Tackle and in Winchester Bay at Salmon Harbor Tackle, Stockade Market and at weigh-in locations.

Derby weigh-in locations are the Rainbow Plaza boat Ramp in Reedsport and the East Boat Ramp (Salmon Harbor) in Winchester. Awards will be handed out 1pm Monday at the Salmon Harbor RV Resort Marine Activity Center in Winchester Bay.

This year’s derby features $1,350 in cash prizes and $1,500 in Cabela’s fishing gear.

All angling rules apply and anglers must have a valid angling license and tag. This year, anglers can use two rods if they have a two-rod angling validation.

STEP is an ODFW program working with volunteers to achieve the agency’s fish management objectives. The Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP group, Cabela’s and many other local businesses sponsor the derby.

phone are advised to call the main office in Salem at 503-947-6000 or to log into the agency website at to find the information they are looking for.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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