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Friday, February 19, 2016

Sebago Lake Rotary Ice Fishing Derby still scheduled for next weekend despite mild temperatures

Last year's 1st place togue winner, Brady Ouellette.
By Walter Lunt - While Mother Nature continues to tease ice anglers with changing conditions on Sebago Lake, derby director Deb McPhail says the annual mid-winter event is “still on” for the weekend of Feb. 27 and 28. Recent on and off cold has created changeable conditions on sections of the lake where ice fishers have accessed the derby, but because the high winds which prevent freezing due to churning waters have come mainly from the south, the ice just may hold at Sebago Station in Standish, according to fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam of Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The best advice is to always assume ice is unsafe, he says, so it’s best is to check conditions on the Rotary web site icefishingderby.com, which will be updated regularly as derby time draws closer.


ATV to be given away compliments of Woody's
McPhail reminds participants and would-be registrants that 50 Cumberland County lakes and ponds also qualify for the derby. The option was added in recent years when lack of ice forced the cancellation of the Sebago derby. The list of eligible waters can be found on the web site.


The derby, sponsored by the Sebago Lake Rotary Club, promotes family fun, fish management and local charities. Last year, according to McPhail, $65,000 was raised, benefiting local food pantries, Camp Sunshine, scores of other organizations and local people in need. She cites rehabilitative help for a child with multiple sclerosis and a ramp that was provided for an amputee. The polar dip, in which brave souls jump into frigid Sebago water, raised thousands of dollars for Maine Children’s Cancer Program.

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Ice fishers compete for cash prizes and the unique recognition of pulling in the largest fish in the area. The four species include togue (lake trout), pike (invasive), perch and pickerel. Prizes range from $100 to $1000 for trophy fish. The grand prize this year totals $150,000 for the angler who bests the state record for togue, which now stands at 31 lbs. 8 oz. set in 1958. In addition, all registrants, whether fishing or not, will be eligible to the win the drawing for a 2016 Polaris Sportsman 570 ATV.


Details concerning the Sebago Lake Rotary Club Ice Fishing Derby, including the children’s derby to be held in March, can be found at icefishingderby.com.

1 comment:

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