The annual ice fishing derby will be Saturday and Sunday for the first time at Fresno Lake.
Chuck Wormer, director of the Fresno Ice Fishing Derby, said he is excited to hold the tournament in a new venue and hopes to generate additional interest in the derby.
Wormer has been in charge of the event for eight years. He indicated the majority of the participants are from the Havre area, but anglers from as far as Great Falls are expected to attend.
He hopes the two-day tournament will attract upwards of 100 participants.
“There is no age requirement for the derby and children with parents are encouraged to participate and are eligible for prizes, ” he said.
The tournament is from 6 a. m. until 5 p. m. each day.
The headquarters for this year’s event is at the Walleye Tavern located at the turnoff for Fresno. Cash prizes will be awarded each day.
The three largest walleye, northern and perch/croppy will take top honors.
The amount of cash awarded will be dependent on the number of fisherman each day. Fish can be measured at the tavern any time during the day. Participants must follow the Montana fishing regulations at all times, he said. Spearing is allowed.
“Fishing can be done anywhere on the lake. ” He cautions people not to drive on the lake this year because of the warm temperatures the area has been experiencing. He indicates there could be some weak areas in the middle of the lake.
People are asked to sign up at the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, 130 5th Ave., by the end of today, The cost of the tournament is $25 per day. Participants may fish one or both days. People can sign up on the first day of the tournament at Walleye Tavern, but will pay an additional $15 fee.
The derby is a major fundraiser for the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce's Ag Committee.
“Eighty percent of the money generated will go toward prize payouts while the remaining 20 percent will be dedicated to students at Montana State University-Northern in the form of scholarships for students enrolled in the agricultural studies. ”