WILTON — The Wilton Fish & Game Association will hold the first annual Michael J. Rowe Memorial Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 14, on Wilson Lake.

Tickets are now available at Shelly’s Hometown Market in East Wilton and Mosher’s Seafood and Meat in Farmington, member Sharon Borthwick said.

For the past few years, the Wilton Fish and Game annual ice-fishing derby has taken place on a Sunday. This year, it will be held on a Saturday, Valentine’s Day, and will be a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife free fishing day, she said.

The derby was renamed in memory of Rowe of South Paris, a lifetime member of the organization, who died in a logging accident at the age of 36 on Feb. 13, 2014.

His parents, Jeffrey and Deborah Rowe of Wilton, have been active in the organization since the 1980s and have served as officers of the group, Deborah Rowe said. Their home is located near the Wilton Fish and Game’s Route 2 property, where their son also became involved with the group and their activities.

“Michael loved to fish and hunt,” she said. “He was an enthusiastic outdoors person.”


Last year, the Rowes gave Michael a box of Max-Traps for Christmas. Michael Rowe’s stepson, Jordan, will bring it with him to fish in the derby, she said.

A wooden, commemorative box of Max-Traps in Rowe’s memory will be given to the youth who catches the largest fish in the derby. There is also a gift from Max-Traps for the child catching the smallest fish.

“The Wilton Fish and Game has grown so much,” Deborah Rowe said. “It is always expanding with more programs, especially for youth.”

A free family fishing clinic will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wilson Lake boat launch during the derby, Borthwick said. Traps, bait, equipment and other necessities will be provided for the Hooked on Fishing program, led by members of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The derby offers prizes in an adult category for togue, trout and salmon caught that day in Wilson Lake. The prize for the heaviest fish caught is $150 cash.

Children ages 15 and younger can catch togue, trout, salmon, pickerel and bass, she said.

Tickets for the derby registration are $5  and are available at the above locations or at the boat launch on derby day, starting at 6 a.m., Borthwick said.

For more information, contact Alan Hart at 778-2450.


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