A major Southern Tier ice fishing competition won't be held this year because of  the warmer-than-usual winter.

Organizer of the New York State Crappie Derby on Monday announced the event has been canceled because the ice on Whitney Point Lake is inadequate.

Tom Decker of the Whitney Point Sportsmens Association told WNBF News there now is "only about eight inches of ice on the reservoir." He said that's plenty of ice for individuals who want to do some fishing but it's not enough for the large crowd that would be attracted by the Crappie Derby.

Decker said the weather in recent weeks hasn't been conducive to making "good ice." He noted there have been repeated freeze-thaw cycles, along with periods of snow and rain.

Some of the crowd at the 2011 New York State Crappie Derby. (Photo: Glenn Pitcher/WHWK)
Some of the crowd at the 2011 New York State Crappie Derby. (Photo: Glenn Pitcher/WHWK)

Officials with the Sportsmens Association met with representatives of the Broome County parks department Monday morning at the lake and everyone agreed the ice was not sufficient for the planned event.

The Crappie Derby was canceled last year at virtually the last minute because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned to close gates at the lake due to rain. That action would have caused the water to rise, pulling ice away from the edges.

The last New York State Crappie Derby was held in 2020. Decker said the association members now will look to next year with the hope of being able to once again hold the event that typically draws thousands of people to northern Broome County.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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