Neqa derby Rules & Regulations 2019

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1.   Official Fishing Dates & Times

Opens at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 21 and closes at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

2.   Derby Headquarters and Weigh Station Location

The Neqa Fishing Derby will be headquartered at the Choggiung campsite. The derby’s official weigh station will be at the same location. The derby master will be stationed at the Choggiung campsite during the event.

3.   Derby Participants

A derby flag will be issued to place on boats to identify them as participating in the contest. Flags must be picked up at the Neqa headquarters prior to commencing fishing, and displayed on boats during the entire course of the event.  

Derby headquarters will be open during the afternoon on Thursday, June 20 for ticket sales and flag pick up.

4.  Weigh in Procedures and Rules

(i) – The official weigh station at the Choggiung campsite will be open:

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Friday, June 21

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Saturday, June 22

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Sunday, June 23

(ii) – Contestants weighing in fish to the derby MUST BE in the weigh scale line up by closing time each day to weigh their fish.

(iii) – Contestants weighing in fish MUST provide the weigh scale staff their valid fishing license with necessary stamps attached for their entry to be validated. Derby staff will verify the derby ticket was purchased by the participant and participant will sign ticket agreeing to terms and conditions prior to salmon weigh in.  Additionally, all harvested king salmon must be recorded on the back of a sport fishing license or on a harvest record card.

(iv) – All public and sponsor tickets MUST be assigned a person’s name by 9 p.m. on the Thursday night before derby fishing begins. Once the name of the person on the entry ticket is assigned, only fish from that entrant can be weighed in against that ticket. (i.e. you cannot have one person weigh-in fish on a ticket on Friday and a different person weigh-in fish on that same ticket on Sunday). Tickets are transferrable until the start of the derby.

(v) – Each participant may enter and weigh one salmon per day.

(vi) – All salmon entries must be greater than 28 inches in length (or five (5) pounds in weight).

(vii) – Only salmon that meet the size criteria set out in the Alaska Department of Fish & Game fishing regulations in place at the time of the derby will be accepted at the scales, no exceptions will be considered.

(viii) – Any person attempting to weigh in fish caught illegally, not in compliance with derby rules, caught outside the boundaries and/or caught outside the derby times will be disqualified immediately.

(ix) – All fish, including fish that win 1st, 2nd, 3rd place prizes, remain property of the individual. 

(x) –In the case of weigh-in ties, the first logged fish weighed will be awarded the higher prize. 

Weigh Scale Procedure

(Please do not park in any fashion that interferes with the normal flow of river traffic)

When you arrive at the weigh scale you will be directed to a table where staff will look up your derby ticket and have you verify agreement to terms with a signature, and check for a valid fishing license. A weigh ticket will be created, and duplicate copy given to fisherperson. Derby officials will hang each fish on the scale to be weighed, and the weight recorded. Pictures of anglers and leader board contending fish will be taken before the fish is removed from the scale.  All photographs will be the property of the BBNCEF and can be freely used by BBNCEF without limitation.

Fisherman, Guides and Lodges participating in the derby will be given an option to donate their fish heads, collars and bellies.  These donations will be conserved and donated to the local Marrulut Eniit “Grandma’s House” Assisted Living Home for Bristol Bay Elders and the Dillingham Senior Center.


(i) – The Derby will award (3) three major prizes for the heaviest salmon weighed during the derby. Only (1) one major top salmon prize will be awarded per entrant.

First Prize:         $3,000 and a commissioned commemorative necklace

Second Prize:   $1,500

Third Prize:        $500

(ii) – Any unclaimed prizes shall be dispensed at the sole discretion of the derby committee. 

(iii) – Following certification, the derby committee will notify winners by mail at the address listed on the contestant’s derby ticket. Prizes not claimed 30 days from the date notification is sent will be forfeited. The committee may also use telephone (for contestants with listed numbers) or e-mail (if available) to notify contestants.

(iv) – IRS 1099 forms will be issued in accordance to IRS guidelines to all prize recipients. IRS and State of Alaska Gaming forms must be signed by the prize recipient before prizes are distributed.

(v) – Other Prizes: A Lodge Trophy will be awarded to the Lodge hosting the fisherman who catches the heaviest weighed fish. Lodges will receive display rights of the Neqa Derby Lodge Trophy for the summer season. The trophy shall remain property of BBNCEF and will be retrieved at the close of the fishing season to be presented to the next annual winner. 

Depending on donations, the Derby may choose to issue other prizes, such as guide award, largest fish caught by a fisherwoman, prizes for children, first fish, last fish, etc.

5.    Fishing Boundaries

Neqa Derby contestants can fish the Nushagak River from:

·      Mouth of Kokwok River (Upper River Boundary);

·      Black Point, (Down River Boundary). 



Neqa Derby Boundary Map.jpg

Any contestants fishing outside the fishing boundaries will be disqualified.

6.    Fishing

(i) – all fishing must be done within the Neqa Derby rules;

(ii) – all derby participants MUST abide by Alaska Department of Fish & Game sport fishing regulations and be bound by any ADF&G fisheries Emergency Orders in effect at the time of the event;

(iii) - fish caught outside the derby boundaries are not eligible;

(i) – fish caught outside the fishing times of the derby are not eligible;

(v) – derby participants can enter a maximum of 1 salmon per day in their name

(vi) – Fishing in the Derby must be done with sport fishing gear. All fish must be caught on rod and reel. Contestants can fish with one rod per derby ticket.

7.    General Rules

(i) – derby tickets are non-refundable;

(ii) – the number of derby ticket sales will be limited to 150

(iii) – by purchasing a ticket and entering the derby, individuals agree to abide by the derby rules;

(iv) – BBNC Education Foundation, the Neqa Derby organizer, will appoint derby officials to oversee the smooth and fair operation of the event;

(v) – derby officials may, where necessary, make a ruling on or decisions related to the application of the official derby rules;

(vi) – in the event of any dispute the derby officials’ decisions will be respected and deemed as final;

(vii) – derby officials shall have the right to conduct further examination or inspection of disputed or suspect catches that are in contention to win any prize, draws or event contests

(viii) – At the close of derby, the derby committee shall make its unofficial results available on the derby website.

(ix) All complaints of rule violations must be submitted in writing within 24 hours of the end of fishing. The protest must include the alleged rule(s) violation and list corroborating witnesses (if any) that can substantiate the violation. The derby committee shall investigate each written protest and respond to all parties in writing as to its decision in the matter.

(x) – Derby certification shall take place no more than fourteen days from the close of the derby.

8.    Waiver of Liability

All entrants shall recognize that their signature on a Derby ticket is a waiver of liability, absolving BBNCEF, its officers and directors, volunteers and any sponsors of the Derby, of any and all damages or liability growing out of the contest by entering or otherwise participating in the Derby.

9.    Nushagak River Land Use Program

Those individuals planning to enter the Derby and fish off the banks of the river and are not part of a lodge must obtain a Choggiung land use permit. Choggiung Limited is located on 104 Main Street, Suite 201, Dillingham, AK 99576.  Office hours in Dillingham are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can contact office personnel at 907-842-5218.