Organizers of the Almost Annual New York State Crappie Derby in Whitney Point say the big ice fishing tournament will not be held this year due to unsafe ice.

Almost Annual Great NYS Crappie Derbie
Almost Annual Great NYS Crappie Derbie

Tom Decker of the Whitney Point Sportsmen's Association and the Crappie Derby says the recent big rain and thaw raised the water level of Whitney Point Lake, which is a flood control reservoir, three or four feet.  As the water level began to fall again, the newly re-frozen edges cracked, making it impossible for anglers to get to the frozen interior of the lake.

Decker says there was no chance the ice conditions could improve in time for the Derby to be held Saturday, February 16 as scheduled.

Decker says the decision was made this year not to have alternate dates for the event.

He says "it just wasn't working out."  Decker says in the past, when the Derby was held on an alternate date, far fewer people turned out and "75% of the time, it wasn't possible to hold the derby on the alternate date anyway."

When it is held, the Almost Annual Crappie Derby draws thousands of ice-fishing enthusiasts, spectators and families to Northern Broome County for the tournament and festivities.

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