More in News
Ice fishing derby features $2,000 grand prize
ROXBURY POND -- This year's 32nd annual Larry Mercier Memorial ice fishing derby features a $2,000 grand prize for anyone catching the three to four-pound tagged brook trout.
The event, sponsored by the Mexico Lions Club, will take place on Roxbury Pond this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rain date will be Feb. 13.
Anglers from all over this region and beyond are expected to gather here for fun, fishing and a chance to win some cash. Last year, more than 600 people registered for the event.
Jim Theriault of the Lions said the entry fee is $10, with payouts of $200, $150 and $100 for the top three catches of pickerel and bass, as well as $150 for the largest trout and $100 for the largest perch.
All of the prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. the day of the derby.
"People from Connecticut, Massachuetts and New Hampshire come here every year, either to see people they know or just for the event," said Dennis Daniel, owner of Ellis Pond Variety, which is located near Roxbury Pond.
"This is very much a family-oriented event. You see people helping people for such things as drilling holes in the ice, and adults teaching the children about ice fishing," he noted, adding that he has some 15 to 20 family members from out of the area coming here for fishing and a good time.
Daniel, who is again sponsoring the prize for the largest trout caught, is opening his business at 4:30 a.m. the day of the event, serving a full breakfast as well as sandwiches to go.
Ellis Pond Variety is also selling live bait. People are asked to call early (545-2713) so the store can plan ahead.
Anglers can also pay the $10 registration fee early here.
As of last Wednesday, Daniel said the ice on the pond was 24 to 30 inches thick. "There are approximately 16 shacks already out there."
The Lions will also be giving away donated prizes drawn from registrations, which will include an ice auger.
The Lions lunch wagon will be there as well, offering hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, coffee, etc.
For more information, call Roland Patneaude at 562-0949 or 364-2827, Jim Theriault at 364-9050, Dennis Daniel at Ellis Pond Variety, or any Lions member.
The fishing derby is named after Larry Mercier, who passed away in the early 1980's. A lifetime member of the Lions, he was a barber who also sold live bait, and came up with the idea for the fishing derby.
The event is a fund raiser by the Lions Club to provide eyeglasses for the needy locally, who otherwise would not be able to afford proper eye care. All proceeds are distributed to the Mexico, Rumford and Roxbury area residents.
For the program, the Lions take used, donated eyeglasses and hearing aids, then pay to have them refurbished.
This is a service the club has performed for more than 35 years.