Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Ice fisherman Jeremy Albro drills fishing holes in the frozen surface of Goodale Lake in Preble in January 2015.
WHITNEY POINT — Due to insufficient ice levels, the 2017 Almost-Annual New York State Crappie Derby has been canceled.
Derby Coordinator Dave Hughes on Friday said there is not enough ice to handle the large crowd of people the event brings out. Ice-thickness readings at Whitney Point Lake earlier this week showed only 7 inches of ice on the section of the lake over the channel and 9 inches over the pond section.
In 2014, the last time the event was hosted, a 15-inch-thick layer of ice covered the lake, according to the derby’s website. That year, the event drew around 3,500 people and raised more than $15,000, according to the website.
After monitoring the ice for the past week, the announcement to cancel the event was made at Wednesday’s committee meeting, Hughes said.
This year marks the 44th attempt to host the derby, which during the first 20 to 25 years was rarely canceled, Hughes said. In the last 12 years, the event has been canceled at least seven times, he said.
The derby began as a way to incorporate the state’s free fishing weekend, Hughes said. The derby was also a way to bring people out to the lake.
“Our lake is one of the most beautiful places around,” Hughes said.
Derby organizers “extend our thanks to all who have attended our event over its 44-year history and had assisted us in continuing this tradition,” according to a release on the derby’s website.
The event is jointly conducted by the Whitney Point Sportsmen’s Association and the Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation.