Scale sanitation

Ross Brandt sanitizes a scale at a weigh-in station for the Knudson Cove Marina King Salmon Derby on Sunday at Knudson Cove Marina. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Typically every year, Knudson Cove Marina hosts a Summer Solstice party.

And the gathering, on Earth’s longest day of the year, gives the marina an opportunity to conduct a fundraiser.

Two years ago, the marina raised a couple thousand dollars for the Potter Road Schoolhouse. Last summer, they raised almost $3,000 for the Ketchikan Theatre Ballet.

But this year, like many other Summer Solstice parties, Knudson Cove Marina had to cancel its original plan due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. And instead, the marina opted to host its first King Salmon Fishing Derby.

“We thought, ‘Let’s do a King derby where everybody can go social distance out on the water, and we can still raise the money for Orton Ranch,’ which was on the schedule this year,” Knudson Cove Marina owner Matt Burbank said.

With a grand prize of $1,000 on the line, more than 170 tickets were sold for the two-day event this weekend. And the weather cooperated, allowing for plenty of salmon to be caught.

Knudson Cove Marina even took time out of the derby to weigh a few halibut that exceeded 100 pounds apiece.

Don Vance reeled his 42.5-pound King salmon in on Saturday, and was able to hang on for that first-place prize.

Brian Brissette caught a 34.5-pound King, and Meta Moulder rounded out the top three, with a 29-pound King salmon. The top 10 spots received various prizes.

But with as many gift certificates and sweatshirts handed out as consolation prizes, the real winner was Orton Ranch.

The camp, located about 10 miles around Revillagigedo Island from Knudson Cove, is used by several groups, including churches and Boy Scouts, and is in need of care.

And the trend of raising more and more money every year continued this weekend, as more than $4,200 was raised for Orton Ranch.

“People have gone there for years and years, and it just needs some help,” Burbank said. “It needs new materials; it needs some labor. We’re going to try to put together a work party in July, and go up there and help them.”

Knudson Cove Marina will continue accepting donations until the Fourth of July. Its goal is $5,000.

“People can come here, (and give) check or cash,” Burbank said. “We’ll pass it right on to the camp.”

Here is the final leaderboard for the King Salmon Derby:

1. Don Vance, 42.5 lbs.

2. Brian Brissette, 34.5 lbs.

3. Meta Moulder, 29 lbs.

4. Romanda Simpson, 26 lbs.

5. Lonnie Adams, 22.5 lbs.

6. Charles Denny, 22 lbs.

7. Skip Pattison, 22 lbs.

8. Ron Randal, 19.5 lbs.

9. Andrew Nordtvedt, 19 lbs.

10. Tyler Shope, 17.5 lbs.

*Names courtesy of

Knudson Cove Marina.

Summer special

In case anyone missed an opportunity to jump on a boat and fish this weekend, Knudson Cove Marina is running a special for locals all summer long.

At $100 per person, Burbank’s captains will take small groups of three to six people out on the water for four hours.

It’s the kind of summer special the marina hopes will reel people in during the days of COVID-19.

“These guys know where to go,” he said of his captains. “You just get on. They’ve got all the equipment, all the bait. You just get on and go. ... It’s a good deal.”