The 29th annual HAWG Ice Fishing Derby at Pathfinder reservoir this weekend has been canceled due to poor ice conditions.

"We apologize to our fishing patrons that due to the unseasonably warm weather we have had to cancel the 2018 HAWG Ice Fishing Derby," according to a statement from the derby's website.

"We know that this is an event that you as well as we look forward to each year, but as difficult as it was, we had to put safety above all else. For those who had purchased a ticket to this years event, full refunds will be made."

Fisherman Randy Pickett told K2 Radio in an email that high warm winds and too many thaw-freeze cycles weakened the ice.

"We want nice hard clear ice," Pickett said. "White slushy ice is soft and can not hold the weight of people or ATVs."

The fishing derby attracts hundreds of participants who compete for up to $57,000 in prizes for the largest fish caught during the two-day event, including $25,000 for the largest trout and largest walleye that must match a predetermined weight to one-hundredth of a pound.

Pathfinder Fishing & Boat Club
Pathfinder Fishing & Boat Club

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