American Legion Fishing Derby scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1 in Park Rapids cancelled

American Legion Fishing Derby scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1 in Park Rapids cancelled Click to Enlarge

PARK RAPIDS (KDLM) - The American Legion Fishing Derby scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 1 in Park Rapids has been cancelled.

Early snow and a whole lot of snow this year has created very poor ice conditions on Fish Hook in Park Rapids. The American Legion Fishing Derby Committee concluded that these poor ice conditions and projected snows and warmer temperatures raised a considerable concern regarding the safety of the fishing event. The committee recommended cancellation of the Fishing Derby portion of the event due to poor ice conditions. Accordingly, the ice fishing portion of the event has been canceled.

Derby Director Jerry Benham best summarized the situation stating, "The safety of the fishermen, the tournament staff and public is first. The American Legion is not going to put anyone at risk by holding an ice tournament under questionable ice conditions."

Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes commended the American Legion for making the right decision which, he understood to be a very difficult one. This winter has created a very bad situation; thin ice conditions, poor ice quality, and non-uniform ice thickness, not just on Fish Hook Lake but on all area lakes. It all boils down to having 15 inches of good clear ice to hold an event of this magnitude and we just don’t have it. Sheriff

Aukes thanked the committee for their hard work and concluded its about Public Safety first.

Many of the event activities will go one. The raffle will continue to include adding in all the on-ice fishing prizes. With only 4000 tickets to be sold, adding in all the fishing prizes, makes your odds of winning much greater. The American Legion has received a waiver from Minnesota Gaming Commission to raffle all prizes.

The weekend of fun kicks off at the American Legion Friday night with the Fish Fry Dinner followed the welcome dance from 8:30P to 12:30A. Saturday events kick off with the SAL breakfast at 7AM, lunch and door prizes throughout the day, and big raffle drawing to start at 3:30 PM concluding with the dance Saturday night. Persons must be present for door prizes but need not be present to win raffle prizes. Tickets are still for sale at the American Legion in Park Rapids and numerous ticket outlets throughout Minnesota.

Anyone that would like a refund of their raffle ticket should contact the American Legion at 732-3360 for refund details. Refunds will only be honored up to 3:30 PM on Friday January 31, 2020. More details at:

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