Thin ice sinks Lake Elmo Lions ice fishing tournament

The ice was thick enough on Saturday, Jan. 30, for students from Tartan’s Relay for Life Team Dr. Cure to host an ice fishing tournament. Team We Cure Because We Care took care of the concessions. For many years, Tartan has been a top fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
The ice was thick enough on Saturday, Jan. 30, for students from Tartan’s Relay for Life Team Dr. Cure to host an ice fishing tournament. Team We Cure Because We Care took care of the concessions. For many years, Tartan has been a top fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Mike Troje of Oakdale pulled in a 1.08 pound northern pike and heads over to the leader board at the Tartan Relay for Life fishing contest Jan. 30 on Lake Jane. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Mike Troje of Oakdale pulled in a 1.08 pound northern pike and heads over to the leader board at the Tartan Relay for Life fishing contest Jan. 30 on Lake Jane. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Checking his fish finder, Joe joked that the fish so far were “lookers, not takers today” at his fishing hole on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo Jan. 30. Team Dr. Cure from Tartan High School’s Relay for Life hosted an ice fishing tournament with prizes for the top three biggest fish and door prizes were given away every 10 minutes. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Checking his fish finder, Joe joked that the fish so far were “lookers, not takers today” at his fishing hole on Lake Jane in Lake Elmo Jan. 30. Team Dr. Cure from Tartan High School’s Relay for Life hosted an ice fishing tournament with prizes for the top three biggest fish and door prizes were given away every 10 minutes. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Zoey Karaschin, left, and Holly Bruber, donning warm hats, enjoyed taking part in the ice fishing tournament on Lake Jane Jan. 30. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Zoey Karaschin, left, and Holly Bruber, donning warm hats, enjoyed taking part in the ice fishing tournament on Lake Jane Jan. 30. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Contest cancelled second year in a row

Though Tartan High School Relay for Life students held their ice fishing tournament on Lake Jane the last weekend of January, the larger-scale Lake Elmo Lions Club Ice Fishing Contest planned for Super Bowl Sunday on Lake Jane was cancelled due to thin ice. 

The Lions’ ice fishing event will not be rescheduled, but the cash drawings still took place.

According to Lions Club president, Michael Dahlke , the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources requires 18 inches of ice on Lake Jane for the big event. Dahlke believed it unlikely the ice would be thick enough even after last week’s big snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. 

“I’m sure it helped a little, but the last time the ice was checked it was 14 inches and to get 4 inches by Sunday —  it just wasn’t going to happen,” he said. 

The Lions considered hosting the event at a different local lake, but because they have participants park on the ice, Dahlke believed other nearby lakes might not offer as much parking.

“Lake Jane is the most easily accessible to get on and off the ice,” he explained. The Tartan students’ fishing contest was allowed because it draws smaller crowds.

The Lake Elmo Lions usually sells between 700 and 2,000 tickets to their annual ice fishing contest, but Dahlke wasn’t sure what to expect this year. One ticket usually buys someone one pre-drilled hole to fish in and one chance to win the drawing. Some people buy additional tickets for additional chances to win.

“Any money that is raised is put back into local places, such as the Valley Outreach,” Dahlke said.

 The cash drawing was located at Twin Points Tavern on Sunday, even though the event’s Facebook page originally advertized Lions Park. The Lions Club stationed someone in the park before the event to redirect those who came to the wrong location.

The Lions Club Ice fishing Contest has been a Super Bowl Sunday tradition since 1957 …  as long as the ice cooperates. Thin ice also spoiled the fishing contest in 2015 and 2012. 

The Lions have considered hosting future ice fishing contests two or three weeks later in the year. “That’s something we’re going to keep looking into,” Dahlke said.

Aundrea Kinney can be reached at akinney@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7822.

 

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