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Bob Reishus and his son, Francis, above, haul in a fish during an awesome day on the ice on Lake Frances recently. Many local anglers have been out on the ice in preparation for the upcoming Valier Area Development Corporation’s annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Jan. 18.

The Valier Area Development Corporation is gearing up for the 2020 Ice Fishing Derby, which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake Frances in Valier. 

This year’s entry fee is $20 per person and the derby features 100 percent payout. Register at Froggie’s Bar and Grill in Valier on Friday evenings from 6-9 p.m. (ask for Liz) or at Robert’s Bait and North 40 in Great Falls. Registration will also be the day of the derby at the Firemen’s Pavilion at 6 a.m. and at One Stop Cenex beginning at 6 a.m.

Fishermen and women can also register the day of the derby in Valier at the Firemen’s Pavilion at 6 a.m. or at One Stop Cenex at 6 a.m. Entry to the derby officially closes at 10:30 a.m. and no fish will be weighed after 3 p.m.

Cash prizes will be paid for first, second and third places for biggest Pike and biggest Yellow Perch. Children 14 and under can win the “Kids Prize” for largest fish caught during the day of the derby. Awards will be presented at 3:30 p.m. Last year’s payout was $1,579 each for the first place Pike and Perch.

All participants they must have a valid Montana Conservation and Fishing License and follow state fishing regulations. VADC officials do not recommend anyone drive a vehicle on the ice.

VADC organizers are confident this year’s derby will be another fun and successful event.

In addition to the ice fishing derby, the VADC is holding their annual fundraising raffle. This year’s raffle boasts several outstanding prizes, including:

•Ruger Precision .17 HMR Bolt Action Rimfire Rifle, donated by Norman’s Outdoor Sports and the VADC.

•Vexilar FL-18 Propack II with 12 degree transducer, donated VADC.

•ION Electric Auger, donated by VADC.

There are many other nice prizes, including gift certificates from major sporting good stores, tools, tip ups, fishing gear and more

Raffle tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and are available prior to the derby from VADC members, Froggie’s Bar and Grill, Curry’s, the Panther Café and DeVoe’s Builders Service in Valier; and Robert’s Bait & Tackle and North 40 in Great Falls.

Once again, the Firemen’s Pavilion will be the headquarters for this year’s derby.

For more information on the annual ice fishing derby, please call 788-6613.

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