Tom Noonan, the director of the popular Sebago Lake Rotary Derbyfest and Statewide ice fishing derbies reached out to media outlets on Thursday with some bad news … and some good.
First, the bad: The Sebago portion of this year’s derby, which was scheduled to be held Feb. 18-19, has been canceled. And the good? The prize money that was to have been up for grabs on Sebago — including $100,000 to anyone who catches a state-record lake trout — will be available to participants of the statewide tourney, which will be held March 3-4.
“The Sebago Lake derby has been canceled due to lack of ice. We did it relatively early, but the chances are slim to none that we’ll make enough ice to safely hold 2,000 people,” Noonan said. “So since we have the statewide tournament already in place for March 3 and 4, we rolled prizes from Sebago into the statewide [tourney].”
Noonan said Sebago has ice in some of the coves, but much of the large lake is still open. He said he did a lot of online research before making the decision to pull the plug on the Sebago derby.
“We looked at what there is for ice and the [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] projections for temperature for the next 30 days, and we took some math models for making ice,” Noonan said. “In my opinion it was mathematically impossible to generate enough ice given the conditions that we’ve got projected.”