Get ready for the annual King of the Reach (KOR) fishing derby, held on the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River every October since 2012. In partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Grant County Public Utility District (GCPUD), and the CCA Washington Tri-Cities Chapter, the KOR has a unique goal. Unlike traditional fishing tournaments that focus on catching the most or biggest fish, the KOR aims to preserve the future of the Hanford Reach population. Angler participation in this event helps collect natural origin Upriver Bright (URB) fall Chinook salmon, which are incorporated into the broodstock of the Priest Rapids Hatchery (PRH). These URBs play a crucial role in sustaining local adaptations and integrating the natural and hatchery populations in the Hanford Reach. The KOR has proven highly successful and has become an annual event to support the PRH’s efforts in ensuring a thriving abundance of URBs for future generations.

All 2023 KOR participants MUST register through WDFW as a volunteer (instructions below), read the KOR Rules & What to Expect, as well as the Waiver & Release.  

Boat Captain’s Register Here:

Registration opens 9/5/23 at 12:00 PM

Angler’s Register Here:

Registration opens 9/5/23 at 12:00 PM

Boat Captain and Angler Registration List

****List will be periodically updated****

Participant # Name Completed WDFW Registration Boat/Party Name Boat Captain X if Yes
1 John Casey X
1A John Casey X
2 Nathan Ruane X
2A Nathan Ruane X
9 Jason Bryan X
9A Jason Bryan X
9B Jeremy Percifield X Jason Bryan
9C Kelvin Ratchford X Jason Bryan
10 Andrew Richman X
10A Andrew Richman X
11 Tony Barnard Tony Barnard  Party X
11A Tony Barnard X Tony Barnard  Party
12 Cole Bode Cole Bode Party X
12A Cole Bode X Cole Bode Party
12B Bill Gwinn X D. Hittle & Associates, Inc.
12C Ty Lord X D. Hittle & Associates, Inc.
12D Randy Valerio X D. Hittle & Associates, Inc.
13 Philip Bower Philip Bower Party X
13A Philip Bower Philip Bower Party
14 Dustin Breazeale Dustin  Breazeale Party X
14A Dustin Breazeale X Dustin  Breazeale Party
15 Michael Buckner Buckner X
15A Michael Buckner X Buckner
15B Bob Buckner X Buckner Party
15C Clay Julian X Buckner Party
15D Mark Phillips Buckner Party
16 Kristopher Butler Team Lowe X
16A Kristopher Butler X Team Lowe
17 Jonathan Caldwell Jonathan Caldwell Party X
17A Jonathan Caldwell X Jonathan Caldwell Party
18 Dave Cleavenger Dave Clevenger Party X
18A Dave Cleavenger X Dave Clevenger Party
18B Kayden Zumwalt X Dave Clevenger Party
19 Jordan Clemens Jordan Clemens Party X
19A Jordan Clemens Jordan Clemens Party
20 David Dalan David Dalan Party X
20A David Dalan X David Dalan Party
21 Lance Dugan Lance Dugan Party X
21A Lance Dugan X Lance Dugan Party
22 Dale Franckowiak D Franckowiak Party X
22A Dale Franckowiak D Franckowiak Party
23 William Frost Jr Frost Party X
23A William Frost Jr X Frost Party
23B Jase Frost X William FROST JR Party
23C William Frost X William FROST JR Party
23D Travis Coffelt X
24 Zac Gomez Zac Gomez Party X
24A Zac Gomez X Zac Gomez Party
24B Roy Bruce X Gomez  Party
24C Todd Dragoo X Boat#24
25 Jason Heider Jason  Heider Party X
25A Jason Heider X Jason  Heider Party
26 Rod Howe Rod Howe Party X
26A Rod Howe X Rod Howe Party
27 Curtis King Curtis King Party X
27A Curtis King X Curtis King Party
28 Garrett Knox Garrett Knox Party X
28A Garrett Knox X Garrett Knox Party
29 Jim Lee Jim Lee Party X
29A Jim Lee X Jim Lee Party
30 Jason Leonard Jason Leonard Party X
30A Jason Leonard X Jason Leonard Party
30B Melissa Leonard X Jason Leonard
31 Garrett Linse Garrett Linse Party X
31A Garrett Linse X Garrett Linse Party
32 Ryan Marquardt Richard Marquardt Party X
32A Ryan Marquardt Richard Marquardt Party
33 JD Martin JD Martin Party X
33A JD Martin X JD Martin Party
34 James Mathews Jim Mathews Party X
34A James Mathews X Jim Mathews Party
34B Andrea Schmitt X
34C Teddy Schmitt X Jim Mathews
34D Grant Johnson
35 Donald McBride Don McBride Party X
35A Donald McBride X Don McBride Party
36 Pat McHugh Pat McHugh Party X
36A Pat McHugh Pat McHugh Party
37 Dave Millard Dave Millard Party X
37A Dave Millard X Dave Millard Party
37B Mike Dontigny X captain dave’s boat
37C Gerald Gaiser X
38 Larry Monroe Jr Larry Monroe Party X
38A Larry Monroe Jr X Larry Monroe Party
39 Robert Myers Robert Myers Party X
39A Robert Myers Robert Myers Party
39B Kate Myers X Robert Myers Party
40 Josh Nations Josh Nations Party X
40A Josh Nations X Josh Nations Party
40B Carl Nations X josh nations
41 Craig Nelson Craig  Nelson Party X
41A Craig Nelson X Craig  Nelson Party
42 Wade Ralston Wade Ralston Party X
42A Wade Ralston X Wade Ralston Party
43 Richard Ramirez Big boyz on da river X
43A Richard Ramirez X Big boyz on da river
44 Jason Ramynke Jason Ramynke Party X
44A Jason Ramynke X Jason Ramynke Party
44B Jack Ramynke X Jason Ramynke Party
45 Wade Roberts Wade Roberts Party X
45A Wade Roberts Wade Roberts Party
46 MIchael Robertson Michael Robertson Party X
46A MIchael Robertson X Michael Robertson Party
47 William Robertson Will Robertson Party X
47A William Robertson x Will Robertson Party
48 Ryan Rodriguez Ryan Rodriguez Party X
48A Ryan Rodriguez X Ryan Rodriguez Party
48B Raina Rodriguez X Raina Rodriguez Party
48C Jason Rodriguez Jason Rodriguez  Party
49 Fred Simmons Fred Simmons Party X
49A Fred Simmons X Fred Simmons Party
50 Ben Skaw Ben Skaw Party X
50A Ben Skaw Ben Skaw Party
50B Shelby Newton Shelby Newton Party
51 Jeremiah Stephens Jeremiah Stephens Party X
51A Jeremiah Stephens X Jeremiah Stephens Party
52 Travis Street Travis Wade Party X
52A Travis Street X Travis Wade Party
53 Mark Tavelli Mark Tavelli Party X
53A Mark Tavelli X Mark Tavelli Party
54 Bill Tierney Bill Teirney Party X
54A Bill Tierney X Bill Teirney Party
55 DNiel Turlington Daniel Turlington Party X
55A DNiel Turlington X Daniel Turlington Party
56 Robert Vert Let ‘er Bite X
56A Robert Vert X Let ‘er Bite
56B Andy Horner X Let ‘er Bite
56C Mike Shreve X Let ‘er Bite
57 Noah Washburn Noah Washburn Party X
57A Noah Washbur X Noah Washburn Party
58 Jason Williams Williams Jason Party X
58A Jason Williams Williams Jason Party
59 Scott Wood Scott Wood Party X
59A Scott Wood Scott Wood Party
59B Jordan Tarrant scott wood party
59C Jeff Wood Scott Wood Party
60 Joshua Corke Josh Corke X
60A Joshua Corke Josh Corke
60B Kayla Beryhill X Kayla Beryhill Party
61 Michael McElroy Michael Mcelroy Party X
61A Michael McElroy X Michael Mcelroy Party

King of the Reach FAQs


While most people recognize the contribution KOR makes to fish conservation, some question the effectiveness of this project and the impact it could have on native fish populations. For more information please visit: King of the Reach fishing derby questions answered

Here are some questions WDFW is often asked regarding the derby:

Q. What happens to fish caught in this derby? In most salmon derbies, anglers get to keep what they catch.

A. In KOR, the fish caught are handed over to WDFW to be used as broodstock at the Priest Rapids Hatchery to create more fish. No fish are retained for personal consumption by anglers participating in the event.

Priest Rapids produces and releases 7.3 million juvenile fall Chinook salmon into the Columbia River each June on the Hanford Reach. They are not sent to other areas of the Columbia or state for release. These fish contribute significantly to a variety of fisheries from the oceans of Alaska to the Tri-cities.

Q. Why is it important to catch fish from the Hanford Reach and use them for reproduction? Why can’t fish from anywhere be used? And why do they need to be native, not hatchery-origin, fish?

A: Offspring of natural-origin (wild) fish are more genetically adapted to survive in their natural environment. Ideally 30% of hatchery broodstock should come from natural origin fall Chinook, and preferably from URB from the Hanford Reach, to keep native genetics in the gene pool.

The Priest Rapids Hatchery has a fish “trap” that spawning fish enter. Less than 10% of the fall Chinook that end up in the trap are natural origin, and many are from other parts of the Columbia River, making additional efforts to secure natural origin fish a necessity.

Q. Does KOR replace natural populations with hatchery fish? Will natural origin fish eventually be wiped out by this operation?

A: Over the ten years of the KOR program (numbers are broken out by year below), less than 1% (0.6%) of the Hanford Reach natural origin fall chinook population has been collected for KOR. In comparison, an average of 12% of the natural origin fall Chinook are harvested each year by sport anglers on the Hanford Reach. The relatively small number collected during KOR makes a large impact in the genetic makeup of the fish released from the Priest Rapids Hatchery.

The American Fisheries Society recently published a peer reviewed manuscript on this topic.

Q. Why do people fish this derby if they can’t keep these large fish?

A. While there are many prizes for participants, and it is always fun to fish for big fish, many people recognize the contribution to conservation that KOR makes and support this work. There are many area groups, including high school students, that volunteer to work the derby for the same reason. In the first ten years of KOR, 1,841 volunteers assisted with the Project collecting 6,780 adult fall Chinook. The comradery and friendly competition coupled with the connection to improving fish conservation make this a great event.

Q. What is the mortality rate of Chinook at this event?

A. Each year, only a handful of fish die in the time between being caught and loaded into the hatchery truck.