Each year, the Chetco River and the Smith River play host to several fishing derbies. These derbies are sponsored by various groups and Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery

P.E.R.C. Steelhead Derby (12th annual) 
February 19-20-21, 2004
(invitation only)

(1) California-Oregon Fish Enhancement, Inc. (22th annual)
February 26-27-& 28, 2004
(2) California-Oregon Fish Enhancement, Inc. (22th annual)
March 11-12-13, 2004
Friends of North Coast Fish (21st annual)
Salmon Derby
November 9,10&11, 2003
(invitation only)


Steelhead Derby
The Performance Excavators & Redhorse Constructors acknowledges, through annual dedicated efforts, two important and vital components (the river guides and Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery) which provide benefits to the Smith River area, it's fisheries and the environment. This once-a-year derby's financial support promotes both the Guides and the hatchery.

Last year, the P.E.R.C. Derby raised more then $8000.00 for the Rowdy Creek Steelhead program. In addition, this year there will be a "silent auction" with proceeds going toward the ongoing work at Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery

The PERC DERBY was held February 6-7-8, 2003
They do their own "scoring" 
Along with the normal "fish Inches" they had a "WILD CARDS" CONTEST.
Anglers were awarded one card with their registration,
then they could buy up to 6 additional (unseen) cards per fisherman.
Each numbered card had a value of plus inches, which were added to their total score.
10% of the cards             added  2 inches
20%                                  4
20%                                  8
20%                                 10
20%                                 14
10%                                 16


Steelhead Derby
(707) 487-3516 ext. 123 (voice mail)
Years ago, Hank & Chopper Westbrook founded the first Cal-Ore Fishing Derby to raise funds for the enhancement of fisheries and streams within our area so that future generations would be able to enjoy clear rivers, great fishing and beautiful scenery for years to come. 

Smith River, CA.

Chetco River, OR.
Each year there are two Steelhead Derbies sponsored by California-Oregon Fish Enhancement, Inc. These derbies consist of teams made up of four men and two guides. These teams are then divided into a A team & a B team. On Friday, the two man, 1 guide, A team will fish Oregon's Chetco River, while the B team fishes the Smith River. On Saturday, the teams switch to fish the opposite river.
Fish are measured by length and prizes are awarded by total number of inches per team. The guide measures the fish from snout to tail with a piece of fishing line, then the fish is usually released. All strings are measured, at the check-in point. Each released fish earns the team an extra 15 inches. The biggest fish of the day will earn the team an extra 30 inches. 
The Cal-Ore Steelhead Derby promotes "catch & release" 
Each Derby averages 90% to 95% release.

 Cal-Ore 21th Annual #1 Steelhead
February 2003 winners:



No Inches Bonus
No. Inches
Chetco River 162 7176 360 85.7
4 108
Smith River  87
3966 435 89.0
3 90
Total 249 7342 3795

7 198

Grand Total 249 fish = 7,342 inches + 3795 bonus inches = 11,147 inches
Percent Released 100 %
Teams 24  6 man Teams ------------ 144 Anglers
Winning Team


                      Team # 3 
A.    Bill Lache                 B.     Tim Treichelt
       Jay Youngflesh                 Stu Miller 
Guide: Willie Plunkett      Guide: Keith Blodgett

7 fish  = 203 inches + 90 bonus inches = 293 inches
Largest Steelhead


38 inches
Fisherman:  Phil Petrie
Guide: Mark Van Hook
"Top Rod"


3 fish ( 2-way tie)
fishermen: Bill Lache & Jay Youngflesh
Guide:  Willie Plunkett


Rain: 1.25 in. on Friday
         2.76 in. on Saturday
(Chetco River was "blown out" on Saturday)
Water Opal Green to Brown
Averages 1.33 fish per boat
.67 fish per fisherman
2000 Cal-Ore March winners:
Fist Place:
Bob Dunn Steve Steiger
Bob Dunn Bill Messner
Guide: Ron DiNardi Guide: Bill Jespersons
9 fish = 274 inches + 165 bonus inches 

 88 Anglers caught 114 fish Release = 96.5 %
Largest Steelhead:    37 "  by Ken Starky
Guide: Dave McLaughlin
Top Rod:  7 fish  Dave Rinker 
Guide: Frank Duarte
Weather:  Clear & Sunny both days

Smith River
March 2000 Gals Only



No. Inches Bonus %
No. Inches
Friday 16 426 270 84.2
3 79
Saturday 12 335 210 92.3
1 27
Total 28 761 480

4 106
Grand Total 32 fish = 867 inches + 480 bonus inches = 1,347 inches
Percent Released  87 %
Teams  13.5 teams = 27 anglers
Winning Team


 Team #3    Becky Williams
                   Marty Mead
Guide: Willie Plunkett
7 fish = 187 inches + 105 Bonus inches = 292 inches
Largest Steelhead  31 inches
Anger: Lovette Brownfield
Guide: Brett Barber
Weather  Summy & Warm
Water  Gin Clear
Averages 2.29 fish per boat
1.19 fish per fisherlady

Averages from last 26 Cal-Ore Derbies
2.24 fish per boat
1.12 fish per fisherman

Salmon Derby
The friends of North Coast Salmon Derby is the oldest Derby and has helped to support Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery since it's beginning.

The Friends of North Coast Fish (FNCF) held its 25th annual salmon derby November 13-14-15 of this year.  This will be the last derby under the current guidance of Jim Griggs and Martin Sublett, therefore they wanted it to be a big one.  A total of 29  (6-man teams) participated.
The FNCF salmon derby WILL continue, but it will be under the leadership of Mark Warner, who now hosts the PERC Derby (Steelhead in February)  {he will be doing both derbies}
Derby Stats:
                 # of fish            total inches
Smith           29                    1282
Chetco         42                    1976
                   71                     3258
 71 fish = 2828 fish inches + 590 bonus inches = 3258 total derby inches
Percent released = 83.1%
The Smith River was closed due to low water, so the anglers had to fish from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to the mouth of the Smith River (approximately a 2-mile) stretch.
The weather was overcast and chilly, with showers

winning team
team total 11 fish  448 inches + 80 bonus = 528 total

Gary Sackett 
Dick Lewis
guide: Craig Sutton    

Herb Lister
Mike Bowhay
Guide:  Phil Desautels

Largest salmon = 56 lb. 14 oz.
  Gary Sackett   angler
Craig Sutton    guide
 40 lb. 7 oz. & 44 inches
Steve Marino &
Guide: Mark Wakeman

Each fishing derby contributes financial support to local fishery projects and the Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery. The fishermen, taking part in each derby, not only have a magnificent time fishing and enjoying the camaraderie, they are supporting the area's fisheries and the environment.
These derbies are the largest source of income for Rowdy Creek Hatchery, a non-profit, private hatchery. Without the financial contributions of the derbies and the donations from private citizens, Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery could not survive. The Hatchery raises salmon and Steelhead which are released into the Smith River.
It is Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery's goal to keep the Smith River stocked with the fish that make it the best salmon and Steelhead River on the West Coast.