Ogdensburg is planning February fishing derby
Plans and funding are in place for a February ice fishing tournament; now all the organizers are waiting for is the ice.
The Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad will host the seventh annual ice fishing derby Feb. 18 at Wheathouse Bay. The event got a large boost thanks to a $1,500 donation from Algonquin Power.
There will be cash prizes for the anglers who bring up the most fish by weight. The derby offers a $100 award to the winner of the children’s derby, while the adult champion will take home $350.
Entry fees are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Preregistration is available at the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad building, 101 State St.
The competition will take place from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and prizes will be awarded at 3:30 p.m. at the rescue squad’s trailer.
"Oh, it will be here," said Matthew J. Denner, the event's organizer. "I'm not worried about that."
Mr. Denner and the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad are hosting their seventh annual ice fishing derby at Wheathouse Bay Feb. 18. The event got a large boost thanks to a $1500 donation from Algonquin Power.
"This year is the first year that we got a donation like that," said Mr. Denner. "At first, I would go door-to-door to local businesses and ask for money - it felt a little bit like begging. Then I tried sending out mailers, and that didn't work out. This year Algonquin stepped up."
Mr. Denner said the donation will be used to purchase door prizes for the derby, which is a fundraiser for the rescue squad. Last year, because there wasn't adequate sponsorship, Mr. Denner used proceeds from derby entry fees to purchase the prizes.
"Door prizes are various items that we usually purchase at Chapman's Sports Shop," he said. "Stuff like fishing equipment, we usually have a bunch of outdoorsy people participating."
The event usually attracts a mix of locals and participants from out-of-town, he said.
"We get people from Vermont and Connecticut who come up here to spend time with their family members," he said. "It is one of the things that gets people into the city in the winter months."
The derby draws a large number of children and their families out on the St. Lawrence River ice, said Mr. Denner.
"The kids bring up more fish than the adults do," he said. "It helps get rid of the cabin fever, it is also a good chance for kids to get some money."
In this case, money refers to a series of cash prizes for the angler who brings up the most fish by weight. The derby offers a $100 award to the winner of the children's derby, while the adult champion will take home $350.
Mr. Denner said that the rescue squad began planning the derbies after organizers of a previous event passed the torch seven years ago.
"They were looking for a sponsor, someone to put in the leg work and supervise it," he said. "As a member of the rescue squad, I took it to them and as a group we agreed to start doing it."
The 2011 tournament had 59 contestants, but the derby usually draws around 120.
"Last year was probably our worst year, it was cold and snowing," said Mr. Denner. "We're hoping for more entries in February."
Entry fees are $20 for adults, $10 for children. Preregistration is available at the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad building at 101 State Street.
The competition will take place between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., and prizes will be awarded at 3:30 p.m. at the rescue squad's trailer.
"It is not just an ice fishing derby, it is a family oriented event," said Mr. Denner. "It usually costs a couple thousand dollars to put on, and we are always looking for help."
Mr. Denner said anyone interested in cosponsoring or donating to the event should call him at 315-393-0837.