Ice thickness may cause the cancellation of the eighth Annual HollandStrong Ice Fishing Derby. Should the derby be canceled, the raffle will still take place. Organizer Deb Roberts is seen with the prizewinning fish shortly before the derby ended in the 2021. Livermore Falls Advertiser file

WILTON — Whether or not to hold the eighth Annual Holland Strong Ice Fishing Derby will be decided Wednesday, Jan. 25, but even if the derby is canceled the raffle will take place.

The derby is scheduled for 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 on Wilson Lake. The derby has been held there since 2020.

The Hollandstrong Community Foundation was created in memory of Deb Roberts’ son, Michael Holland who died when the SS El Faro sank on Oct. 1, 2015, near the Bahamas. The foundation has provided scholarships to graduating seniors from three area school districts

“The talk of town this week is whether or not we will have enough ice by derby day – at this point we are moving forward with planning as though we will,” Roberts wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday, Jan. 11. “With that said, however, we are constantly monitoring ice conditions and will make a final decision based on the ice conditions on Wednesday, [Jan. 25th].”

In an email to the Livermore Falls Advertiser on Thursday, Roberts noted, “We are moving forward with derby planning with the hope that there will be enough ice to hold it on Saturday, January 28th. The final decision will be made on the 25th, at which time we will announce how and when the raffle prize winners will be drawn and announced. My sincere hope is that we don’t have to worry about that.”

Prolonged warm weather this winter has slowed ice formation on Maine lakes and ponds. On Jan. 1 a man died when the utility task vehicle he was driving went through the ice on North Pond in Belgrade. A man ice fishing on Seboeis Lake in Pisquataquis County died days later when his snowmobile went through the ice.


This year’s derby has $3,500 in cash prizes up for grabs including a larger adult first prize of $1,300 as well as expanded youth prize categories, Roberts wrote. Youth longest togue will receive $400, longest brook trout or salmon [by rule salmon must be at least 16 inches] $300, longest any other species [pickerel, bass, perch] $200, and shortest legal fish [any species] $100, she noted.

Other features of this year’s derby include:

• Hollandstrong goodie bags will be given the first 30 youth who stop by the derby shack.

• Traps for Kids program will set up at the boat launch. More information about them can be found on Facebook at

• Isaac’s Place food truck will set up at the boat launch. More information about them can be found on Facebook at .

• Shelley’s Hometown Market in East Wilton will still be offering delivery.


• Jyssica Grover (Mike’s stepsister) will set up at the boat launch to sell some Hollandstrong merchandise made by her with some of the proceeds going to the Hollandstrong Scholarship.

There are over $11,000 in sponsorships and as of Thursday over 60 raffle prizes, Roberts wrote.

Visit to purchase derby registration and raffle tickets as well as Hollandstong t-shirts, pullovers, and decals.

“We appreciate the many Hollandstrong supporters doing the ice dance – which reminds me to also share that we will have a derby pre-party on Friday night, January 27, at Ambition Brewing [] in Wilton featuring Hollandstrong’s own Flaaag! beer and music by Jodi Spencer Mathers as DJ,” Roberts noted.

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