High hopes for inaugural 'Salmon Fever on the Upper Rogue'

Organizers of a new spring chinook salmon derby along the Rogue River expect a flurry of sign-ups today on the eve of the event.

A combination of Free Fishing Weekend and a $1,000 first prize for the heaviest Rogue spring chinook caught by a pre-registered participant should create enough buzz for more entrants to sign up by tonight's 9 p.m. deadline, says Sandra Marchand, secretary of the Shady Cove-Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce.

"We expect lots of last-minute sign-ups, including some from the Free Fishing folks," Marchand says.

This is the chamber's inaugural derby centered in Shady Cove, and derby leaders hope to make it an annual affair.

Along with first place, the derby will pay $500 for second place and $250 for third place.

The so-called "Salmon Fever on the Upper Rogue" derby costs $25 for adults to enter and $15 for kids.

Participants may fish from the bank or from boats in any legal fashion between the Hatchery Hole down to the Takelma boat ramp downstream of Shady Cove.

Weigh-ins will occur throughout the day at the Jackson County Regional Park in Shady Cove, with the final weigh-in at 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 4:30 p.m.

For weigh-ins, all salmon must be cleaned and gilled. In case of a tie, the fish weighed in first will be declared the winner.

Registration can be completed online at shadycoveupperrogue.org or at Sportsman's Warehouse in Medford, all Bi-Mart and Walmart stores in Jackson County and in Shady Cove at the Upper Rogue Community Center, Jack's Fishing Hole, Toni McMillan-Arnspiger Insurance and Signs Banners and More.

The event will also include the Upper Rogue Community Center's annual "Duck Races."

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