Sen. Murkowski Lands 63-Pound King Salmo

The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; 11:34 PM

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had the home river advantage. She caught a 63-pound king salmon in the 11th annual Kenai River Classic, the biggest catch among the nine senators who took part in the annual fundraiser July 6-10 for conservation of habitat along the Kenai River.

Participants included Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

BP Vice President Peggy Hudson caught the largest fish, a 67-pound king. The event raised about $800,000.

Alaska's other U.S. senator, Ted Stevens, and Gov. Frank Murkowski co-hosted this year's event. It drew about 200 people, many of them lobbyists and executives from major U.S. industries.

Others senators attending this year were Kit Bond of Missouri, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Larry Craig of Idaho, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Pat Roberts of Kansas and John Sununu of New Hampshire. All are Republicans. No House members attended.

Ricky Gease, executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, said genetic samples from the largest three kings caught showed they all came from eggs spawned in 1999 and all had spent one year in the gravel, one year in freshwater and five years in saltwater.

© 2006 The Associated Press