ROXBURY — With a week of cold temperatures, it’s a go for the 36th annual Larry Mercier Memorial Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Roxbury Pond.

Proceeds will benefit the Mexico Lions Club’s eye care program.

The derby features a tagged brook trout worth $2,000 if caught during the derby. Fishing will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mexico Lions Club member Roland Patneaude said Monday that he placed an order for the tagged fish from the state biologist.

The ice on the pond is an estimated 13 inches thick, he said.

According the Maine Warden Service, the general guidelines for ice safety are a minimum of 4 inches of solid ice for people and 6 to 8 inches for snowmobiles and ATVs.

As far as vehicles driving on the ice, Patneaude said, “We don’t condone it, but we cannot stop them, either. Common sense will tell you what to do after digging a hole in the ice.”

Dennis Daniel of Ellis Pond Variety near Roxbury Pond says he feels comfortable with the ice situation.

“With this cold, the better part of the ice will be formed this week,” he said.

The event, which attracts many families, is timed to coincide with Maine’s free winter fishing days on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13 and 14. On these days, anyone, except those whose license has been suspended or revoked, may fish without a license. All other laws and regulations apply.

The Mexico Police Explorers will run the Lions Club Lunch Wagon, selling breakfast foods, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, coffee and hot chocolate.

The derby entry fee is $10. Tickets can be purchased at Roland’s Automotive in Mexico.

Besides the $2,000 grand prize for the tagged trout, the largest trout caught is worth $150. The largest perch nets $100. The cash prizes for both pickerel and bass are $200, first place; $150, second place; and $100, third place.

All prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Daniel said his store will be open at 4 a.m. Saturday and the pizza oven and the grill will be ready for anyone wanting breakfast.

Daniel has ordered 400 dozen shiners to sell. The store is also running a contest for people ordering bait. There will be an odd fish in the tank worth a $25 gift certificate.

People can preregister for the derby and preorder live bait by calling 545-2713.

For more information, contact Patneaude at 357-8175 or Jim Theriault at 545-0416.

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