The Knox County Fish and Game’s 49th annual ice-fishing derby has been canceled due to unsafe ice conditions on most Midcoast waterways.

Heavy recent rain, including more than four inches that fell on the area in the past few days, and warmer than expected tempeturatures have made ice conditions on most local waterways unsafe. Thus, officials of the popular derby have been forced to cancel the event, which is a half-century old.

The derby was set for Sunday, Feb. 28 and was open to all legal waters within a 50-mile radius of Beaver Lodge, the headquarters of the event.

The event includes raffles and prizes for the largest fish any many categories.

The weigh-in was to be at Beaver Lodge on the shores of Alford Lake in Hope beginning at 5 p.m. on Feb. 28

In a related note, ice-fishing shacks should be taken off ice as soon as possible. Many of those that have not been removed may not be able to be retrieved at this point due to unsafe ice conditions.

Two local youth ice-fishing events were held Feb. 20, just a week ago, in Union on Seven Tree Pond and Waldoboro on Kaler’s Pond. While warm conditions made for a slushy surface, those events still had plenty of thick ice to safely be held, but ice conditions have changed dramatically in just the past few days.

Click to look at the Knox County Fish and Game website.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.