The Wilton Fish & Game Association’s 6th Annual Michael J. Rowe Memorial Ice Fishing Derby will be held Saturday, Feb. 15, at Wilson Lake.

The event coincides with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Free Fishing Weekend. This means that any person (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) may fish without a fishing license.

Even people who have never gone ice fishing are encouraged to attend. A free ice-fishing clinic for all ages will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; all bait and equipment will be provided.

Hot breakfast sandwiches will be available starting at 5 a.m. Registration will open at 6 a.m. and continues to 2 p.m.

The cost is $5 the day of the event at the Wilson Lake boat launch area. Tickets also are available in advance at Shelly’s Hometown Market, 1339 Main St. in Wilton; Backwoods Bait and Tackle at 370 Vienna Road in Chesterville; Wilton Hardware at 343 Main St. in Wilton; and Robin’s Bait Shop at 237 Macomber Hill Road in Jay.

The first 50 youth arrive at the registration shack with a ticket on the day of the event will get a free grab bag.

Many door prizes will be given away at the event, including a 10-inch Eskimo (gas) auger. All youth registrations (15 and younger) will be included in a drawing for a lifetime fishing license donated by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Other prizes include fishing and outdoor gear, and gift certificates from area businesses. There also will be a 50/50 drawing.

Adult fishing prizes, will be awarded in three categories: Brook Trout, Togue and Salmon. First place is an Eskimo Quickfish 3i shelter; second place is an XL jet sled with hitch and cover; and third place is a two-person tree stand.

Youth prizes include a boxed set of Max-traps for the heaviest fish. Winners in other categories will receive a Loring pack basket, with a 25-inch Max-trap and bait pail. There will be a special prize for smallest fish (no bait fish).

All prizes will be announced and awarded beginning at 4:15 p.m., but the weigh-in for fish ends at 4 p.m.

Sponsors include Wood-Mizer LLC, Ross & Maureen Clair, Chesterville, and Dunkin Donuts, which provides hot coffee and cocoa for the event.

The ie fishing derby is held in memory of Michael J. Rowe, who was killed in a tragic woods accident.

For more information, call Jaci Maxham at 491-0780.

filed under: