FILE PICTURE: approximately 4, 000 fishermen braved the wind and cold in 2015 to fish the 31st yearly Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Fishing Tournament on Devils Lake. (Brad Dokken photo)
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DEVILS LAKE—Organizers have determined there is plenty of ice on Devils Lake, in addition to largest ice fishing event in North Dakota is certainly going on as planned.
The 32nd annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament needs location 1 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30 on Six Mile Bay.
After one of many latest freeze-ups on record, there was some issue about perhaps the ice could be thick adequate to offer the thousands of anglers whom fish the event. Devils Lake Fire Chief Jim Moe stated organizers checked the ice Wednesday mid-day, drilling about 40 holes, and discovered 14 to 19 inches of great, solid ice.
Last year at this time, six-mile Bay had 32 inches of ice, Herald archives reveal.
"i believe we are quite confident we're going to have the ability to contain it without issues, in order for was a sigh of relief, " Moe told the Herald Thursday early morning. "We feel with people walking out indeed there, we are able to do it safely."
Last weekend's cool snap might-have-been a wintry slap into the face to most Northland residents, however it had been a blessing for tournament organizers. Moe said they deliberately waited until after the cold snap to test the ice.
"It really is never come down into wire similar to this, " he stated.
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As a precaution, organizers are changing the tournament boundaries somewhat, Moe said, therefore the 5, 000 holes that'll be drilled event morning will likely be atop 9 to 20 feet of water.
In previous years, Moe stated, the deepest areas within event boundaries had been above 30 foot deep, but pond levels are down about 3 foot from a year ago.
Moe stated there wasn't significantly more than 2 inches of snowfall on ice within tournament boundaries, along with the occasion nevertheless significantly more than per week away, problems should continue to enhance.
If organizers hadn't found adequate ice, Moe said the big event could have gone on as planned without fishing event since most of the fundraiser revolves across the raffle. This present year's competition features more than $275, 000 in prizes, including a grand prize of a 2016 Toyota Tundra Crew Max 4x4 pickup.
"we'd went ahead and simply presented the design, " Moe said. "Our kind of event is a raffle. If it absolutely was a safety concern, things would have proceeded at the Memorial Building."
The fishing portion of the big event offers awards the top five perch, walleyes and pike, but as in past many years, the event's not absolutely all in regards to the biggest fish. The angler just who weighs in the second-largest pike will win a 2016 Ford F150 XLT stretched cab pickup, and a ATV could be the reward when it comes to fourth-largest walleye.
Tickets the event, which cost , constantly are in demand, while the 20, 000 offered passes had been "pretty hard to come by" by Thanksgiving, Moe stated.
The actual quantity of ice organizers found Wednesday falls well in the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's safety suggestions of 12 to 15 inches, Moe stated, but fishermen will have to choose for themselves whether they're comfortable with the circumstances.
"You're going to possess some fishermen not comfortable with the depth regarding the ice, " Moe stated. "That's anything they need to assess independently. They have to be comfortable, of course they are perhaps not, which is their particular choice."
In central Minnesota, organizers associated with Brainerd Jaycees $150, 000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake last week chose to postpone the event, initially scheduled for Saturday, until Feb. 6 considering inconsistent ice circumstances.
More information in the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire division Ice Fishing Tournament, including an occasions schedule and the full listing of awards, can be acquired at dlvfdicefishingtourney.com.
Brad Dokken is editor of this Herald's Northland Outdoors section and in addition works as a copy editor and page fashion designer. Dokken joined up with the Herald company in November 1985 as a duplicate editor for Agweek mag and joined up with the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor within the features and development divisions before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He additionally writes a blog known as Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.