Ice fishing derbies top the list of favorite wintertime activities for area sportsmen and women, and such derbies saturate the outdoors calendar during the coming weeks.
For example, three derbies take place on Saturday, Jan. 26. Sponsors of these events are the Alexandria Bay VFD, the Black Lake F&G Association, and the Pierrepont VFD.
Alexandria Bay Derby
The Alexandria Bay Luck of the Draw 15th Fire and Ice Fishing Derby is an open-boundary affair.
Northern pike must measure a minimum of 26 inches to qualify for entry. The derby features more than $10,000 in prizes, including $1,000 donated by Glen Sweet, $500 by Gouverneur Savings and Loan, $500 Gift Certificate by Route 37 and Wellesley Island Building Supply, and an ice auger by Horizon Marine.
Also, $250 will be awarded for the biggest fish and $250 for Luck of the Draw live release, while all youngsters in the Youth Division will receive a prize.
Registration runs from 8 a.m. through the evening of Jan. 25, and from 5-11 a.m. on the day of the event. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youths 12 and under. Weigh-in closes at 5 p.m., when a merchants auction will be held with the awards being presented at 6 p.m.
All activities, including live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, will take place at the Alexandria Bay Municipal Building/Fire Station. For more information, call 408-9351 or 788-2243.
Black Lake Derby
The Black Lake F&G Associations 45th annual Ice Fishing Derby is also an open-boundary tournament with divisions for northern pike, walleye, panfish and junior panfish. Both cash and other prizes will be awarded, and cash prizes will be based on the number of entrants.
Anglers must register ($15 for adults and $5 for youths 16 and under) before fishing. Pre-registration is available at Chapmans Sport Shop and Black Lake Marine until noon on the day of the derby.
Anglers can also register at the associations clubhouse on Route 58 between Morristown and Edwardsville from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 25 and beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. Complete rules and regulations are available at registration sites, and weigh-in closes at the clubhouse at 4 p.m., when prizes will be awarded. For more information, visit www.blfga.org.
Like the other derbies slated for Jan. 26, the Pierrepont VFDs Ice Fishing Tournament is an open-boundary one.
Adult divisions include northern pike and walleye, while the youth divisions include yellow perch and crappie.
First prize in the pike and walleye divisions is $250, and first prize in the perch and crappie divisions is $50. Second and third-place prizes will also be awarded in all four categories.
The Pierrepont Fire station will serve as the registration and weigh-in site. Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for youths under 15. The weigh-in closes at 5 p.m., and awards and door prizes will be awarded at 6. Among the door prizes are ice augers, portable shelters, ice sleds, tip-ups and more.
Hunter Education Course
The St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmens Club is hosting a home-study Hunter Education Course next month.
Interested individuals must sign up at the SLVSC clubhouse on Saturday, Feb. 2 from noon until 3 p.m., and prospective students must be accompanied by a parent at registration.
Upon signing up, students will receive a manual and workbook. The field-work portion of the course will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. until finished. Class size is limited to 35 students and pre-registration is required. For more information, call 344-4017.
Today-Saturday: International Snowmobile Safety Week.
Thursday: Lisbon Sportsmens Club meets at Lisbon Library at 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: SLC Fisheries Advisory Board meets at Canton BOCES at 7 p.m.
Jan. 25-27: New York Sportsmans Expo at NYS Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Jan. 26: Black Lake F&G Associations annual Ice Fishing Derby.
Jan. 26: Alex Bay VFDs annual Luck of the Draw Ice Fishing Derby.
Jan. 26: Pierrepont VFD Open-Boundary Ice Fishing Tournament.
Feb. 2: Redwood VFDs Ice Fishing Derby.
Feb. 9: Chippewa Bay F&G Clubs annual Ice Fishing Derby.
Feb. 9: River Valley Gun Dog Club hosts annual banquet at SLVSC.