Thousands of anglers to compete in salmon derby

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) More than 2,500 people are expected to compete this weekend in the 57th Golden North Salmon Derby.

Defending champion 14-year-old Ryan Beason will be looking for his third straight win.

''A lot of people forget that in 2000, I came in third place,'' Beason said.

Beason said some people have told him they're pulling for him to bring in the fish again this year. Others have told him it's time for a new winner.

The derby was to begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday and will run until 6 p.m. Sunday. In each of the last two years, Beason has pulled in his big catch on opening day.

This year, the top fish will be worth $15,000 in cash, donated by derby sponsor Territorial Sportsmen, plus a first-place trophy, a sterling silver belt buckle and a winner's jacket. Territorial Sportsmen also is donating $2,500 for second place. Prizes have been donated for the 100 top catches.

Last year's prize-winning catches weighed from 34 to 17 pounds.

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