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Wolf Lake Fishing Derby scheduled for Jan. 19

Anglers rev up your rods and get ready to fish! The 45th annual Wolf Lake VFW Post 8165 fishing derby is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19.

Stanley Myllykangas, an organizer for the fundraiser, said he expects 1,500 to 2,000 people to show up for the event, which runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the north end of Big Toad Lake, between Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids on Highway 34.

He said anglers can't drive into the contest area and should plan on walking to the holes drilled for anglers in the allotted fishing areas. Exceptions will be made for anglers with disabilities.

Holes will be drilled for anglers in the designated fishing areas, but Myllykangas said anglers can drill their own holes, if they want to. In the past, anglers have caught eight-pound walleyes and 8-10 pound northerns.

Anglers will not be able to fish from houses, must have their ticket with them, and are only allowed one line per person.

The entry fee for the fishing derby is $5, which anglers can pay at the lake. Minnows will be available on the lake.

Myllykangas said the Ladies Auxiliary will have refreshments available, from hot dogs and barbecues to hot cocoa and coffee.

The prize for the largest game fish is $500, with successive prizes ranging from $300 to $50. There are 50 turkeys available for the anglers with the first 50 game fish entered, and drawings for additional prizes.

Ties will be broken in the order the fish are entered and all judges' decisions are final.

Anglers need not be present for the door prize drawings. First prize is $1,000, second is $400, third is $300, fourth is $200, fifth is $100, and winners six through 10 get $50.

The fishing derby is a popular event for the Wolf Lake V.F.W. Post 8165. Myllykangas said the event used to be one of many fundraisers in Wolf Lake, but, "Now it's the only fundraiser we've got."

He said the post is watching the conditions of the ice on Big Toad Lake to make sure it's safe for the derby on the 19th. There was good ice on the lake Myllykangas said, but when the snow fell, it became slushy. With higher temps this week, warm sunshine and strong winds, the ice could get worse.

"We're going to be checking that to make sure," Myllykangas said.

If the ice isn't safe, the drawings will be moved to the Lions community center in Wolf Lake.

Myllykangas said that if the derby needs to be cancelled because of ice conditions, he would let anglers know through local radio stations and newspapers a little closer to the scheduled derby time.