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The Coquille River Bass Derby, hosted by the Port of Coquille River, is back with a new $10,000 smallmouth bass along with numerous other prized fish. This year, the event aims to provide anglers with an extended opportunity to land a prize by spanning over two weekends.
Port Commissioner Fred Fry acknowledges the persistent challenge posed by invasive bass to the Coquille River's salmon run. In response, the format of the Bass Derby has been modified to help mitigate this issue. Starting from the free fishing weekend, the Bass Derby will now run throughout the entire summer season. The objective is to reduce the population of bass, as salmon need to remain in the river to mature before reaching the smolt stage, during which they are vulnerable to bass. By decreasing the number of bass, the salmon will have a better chance of survival.
During the Bass Derby, anglers are welcome to fish from boats, boat ramps, and paddle boards. To be eligible for cash prizes, participants must have their fish scanned either on Saturdays at Sturdivant Park or on Sundays at Myrtle Point Boat Ramp between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Tickets for the Bass Derby cost $20, and children aged 12 and under, as well as disabled veterans, can participate for free.