Coquille Tribe release – (North Bend, OR) – With thousands of the invasive species being landed, about 2,000 by one fisherman alone, the 2nd Annual Small Mouth Bass Derby has now been extended through October 1, 2023! The event hosted by the Port of Coquille River in order to help the salmon and other species thrive is proving to be quite a success in just year number two. Starting on June 3, 2023, the Derby – sponsored by the Coquille Indian Tribe, ODFW and 3J Ranches – gave fishermen a chance to catch one of 80 tagged fish worth cash prizes ranging from $50 to $10,000. Last year, about 3,000 bass were caught. So far, this year, Port of Coquille River Commissioner Fred Fry says over 8,600 small mouth bass have been taken from the river. Prize fish are still out there, including the big dollar bass. So, it could definitely pay to keep fishing. Coquille Indian Tribe Chair Brenda Meade says the derby results have been nothing short of spectacular. “These bass are invasive species, and they prey on the salmon smolts, and that is doing incredible damage to the salmon runs,” Meade said. “It is so important to continue to help salmon recovery in any way we can. It is important culturally, ecologically, economically, and this kind of event is producing amazing results in just its second year.” Contestants will have to pay a $20 entry fee and sign up before fishing. Volunteers will be at Sturdivant Park in Coquille on Saturdays between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and at the Myrtle Point boat ramp on Sundays at the same time to scan catches for microchips identifying them as cash-winning fish. The event has now been extended until Oct. 1. Go to thepocrd.com for more information.
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