Nor-Cal Guides & Sportsmen’s Association (NCGASA) Derby Rules 2021-2022

1. All participants wishing to enter the Hatchery Steelhead Derby must register and pay their entry fees before the event start date of December 18, 2021. The Derby will kick off at To sign up: CLICK HERE

Derby fees: $20 Adult Derby entry + $20 NCGASA annual membership = $40. Youth $15 Derby entry plus a $10 annual membership to NCGASA = $25.

Derby fees/donation to will cover entry or registration into the 2021-2022 Derby, a yearly membership to NCGASA, a raffle entry into sponsor raffles and a steelhead derby metal ruler. You must be a NCGASA 2022 MEMBER in order to ENTER THIS DERBY and in ORDER TO WIN CASH & PRIZES from NCGASA. Derby Awards Ceremony will take place at Mad River Brewing Co., Tap Room & Outdoor Patio in Blue Lake, CA on Sunday, March 6 starting at 1pm.

2. Any entries submitted before Dec. 18, 2021 or after 6 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2022 will not be entered. 

3. All participants must have a valid California fishing license and steelhead report card and must follow all California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules.

4. The boundaries of the Derby are the Mad River mouth to Boundary Creek.

5. Derby Entry Requirements: 1) All hatchery steelhead entries from the Mad River only must be measured on the official NCGASA steelhead rulers — made possible by our sponsors. Measure from the head to the center (fork) of the tail, laying your hatchery steelhead on top of the ruler — straight — with the head up against the butt of one end of the ruler and the tail centered at the other end of the ruler. 2) Entries must be photographed on these official NCGASA rulers and overall length measurements must be clear and visible in the photographic evidence sent in for verification. 3) Take your measurement photos AT or ON the Mad River watershed. 4) Submit as many photographs of the measurement you need to in order to verify the overall length to or post photos to Mad River Steelhead Derby on Facebook or Instagram or you can text them to the Derby fishing coordinator’s (Tracy Mack) cell phone at seven-o-seven 496-2948.

Photo Guidelines: Fish should be measured and photographed in pristine condition on the Mad River watershed. We prefer to see your catch in its natural habitat and at its freshest. Wipe off any dirt, mud, blood if possible before photographing. Do not photograph the measurement of your fish at home for entry. You may submit multiple entries. NCGASA will take your biggest fish for your final entry into the Derby. **NO soft tape or other measuring device photos will be accepted as an official entry. Any questionable photos where we cannot see the head butted up against the end of the ruler and the tail end point and/or the overall length measurements on the ruler are subject to review and or disqualification by the fishing coordinator and NCGASA reps.

Photos of fish carcasses or manipulated or altered fish are not allowed. No gutted or filleted fish photos will be accepted. NCGASA reserves the right to disqualify any entry if we feel the Derby Entry Requirements were not met. NCGASA reserves the right to modify these rules at any time. Derby anglers are required to know the rules and requirements of this Derby before submitting your entries.

Only hatchery steelhead caught while the river is open to fishing can be submitted. Derby participants must follow the current CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife regulations. Visit for more info. Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulation books are online and free and can be picked up 619 2nd St., Eureka, (707) 445-6493.

Winners will be determined by the Derby fishing coordinator and reps. Winners based on the longest, measured, hatchery steelhead on the provided ruler and entered correctly within the Derby event dates: Dec. 18, 2021 starting at 6 a.m. to Feb. 28, 2022 by 6 p.m. Upon an exact tie in length, the Derby fishing coordinator and NCGASA reps will determine a new payout and/or prizes. Any and all disputes will be solved by NCGASA. Any cheating on the derby deemed by NCGASA will be a forfeiture of all monies paid. All winning entries are subject to a final review by NCGASA reps and an advisory panel of participants from previous derbies.

6. You may harvest only hatchery steelhead. The adipose fin will be clipped on a hatchery steelhead. All hatchery steelhead must be caught in the mouth by rod and reel and landed legally by hand or net. Please revive and release any native fish with full adipose fins. Please try to keep any native fish submerged and their gills in the water. Keep Fish Wet. #keepemwet 

7. All California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules are required and to be followed including Mad River low flow closures during this Derby. For the Low Flow River Closure hotline call (707) 822-3164 — it’s updated every Mon, Wed, Friday. Note: Even if the river rises to more than 200 cfs, the river still may be closed per CDFW. You must call the number in order to find out. All participants must follow all local, state and federal laws regarding fishing on the Mad River. 

CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife has noticed some hatchery fish may have partial adipose fins that are considered missed clips. Please visit our Blog for more info., on how to tell if you caught a hatchery or native steelhead or click here. If you are unsure, please revive and release your catch. Please keep native fish submerged with their gills under water. If there is a Mad River Steelhead Steward nearby with a holding tube, please call them over to help you determine if you have a native or hatchery fish. Consider donating any native steelhead you catch to the broodstock collection program. Please consider releasing big hatchery fish for better genetics.