September 23, 2013 | In: Ham Radio

The Running of the Salmon


Every September, as the salmon start making their way upstream in the waterways of western Washington state, the ham operators of Washington go slightly bonkers…

The Salmon Run is hosted by the Western Washington DX Club, and is Washington’s version of a state QSO party.  It is an opportunity for folks outside of WA to try and work as many Washingtonians as possible, and for folks in the state to try and work all 39 counties.

This year, the Salmon Run was on September 21st & 22nd, 9AM to Midnight Saturday and 9AM to 5PM Sunday, for a total of 23 hours.  I spent about 18 of those hours with headphones on my head, trying to get a clean sweep of the counties…with about an hour to go, I snagged Douglas county for #38… but never did get Skamania county (no, not making these names up) for number 39… and judging from comments heard on the air, I’m not the only one.

This year was, far and away, the best showing I’ve had on the Salmon Run.  I believe my previous best was 32 counties, and somewhere in the 130 QSO (2-way contact) range.  In 2013, I snagged the aforementioned 38 counties, and 232 QSOs.  Contacts included Georgia, Texas, Kansas and Alaska.  I was surprised at how many folks were operational from Okanagan county.

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