GREENVILLE, Maine — A stretch of unusually mild winter weather means one of the largest fishing derbies in the state will be split up over two weekends.
Organizers say that because of some thin ice in areas, the annual Moosehead Lake Togue Derby with Ricky Craven will take place this weekend and February 19-21.
Tim Obrey of the Natural Resource Education Center says the derby was started as a management strategy to reduce the togue or lake trout population in Moosehead Lake.
Obrey said the ice is pretty bad at the north end of Maine‘s largest lake, and people participating this weekend need to use extreme caution.
“We know a lot of people make their camp reservations a year in advance and we don’t want to mess those people up. So, if you’re coming and you know you can find some safe ice, then we’ll have the weigh stations open for you," Obrey said. "But we are trying to get the message out that it’s ok to be patient, the fish are still going to be here in February and we want the people to still be here in February so, just be patient and wait for February if you can."
This is only the second time in its 14-year history organizers have had to make an alternate plan for the derby.
Obrey said prizes for the three largest togue are $1,500 1st place, $500 2nd place, and $250 3rd place
For more information about the derby, click here.