1/30/2020 7:30:00 AM Rhinelander Lions Club cancels
fishing tournament due to insufficient ice Raffle drawings will take place
Stephanie Kuski River News Features Reporter
The Rhinelander Lions Club's 44th annual fishing tournament, which was scheduled to be held Saturday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 9 on Boom and Bass lakes, has been canceled due to tenuous ice conditions.
Rhinelander Lions Club President Mike Romportl said the fisheree has been called off due to recent accidents on area lakes due to insufficient ice conditions.
"As a result of the latest incident on Boom Lake, the Lions felt it would be prudent to cancel the fishing event because we cannot control any of the access onto the lake," Romportl said. "We just erred on the side of caution for the safety of the people."
Romportl said volunteers who have been checking the ice conditions for the fisheree saw some areas of Boom Lake with a healthy foot of ice, but other areas had only 5 inches or less.
With the heavy snow the area has received in the past week, Romportl said the layer of slush on top of the ice now makes it nearly impossible to tell if a certain area of the lake has 5 inches of ice or 12.
Because the Lions cannot limit vehicle or ATV access to the lake, Romportl said they felt it was necessary to cancel the fundraiser in order to prevent an accident.
The decision was not made lightly, he stressed.
"This is the first time in 44 years that I know of that we have ever canceled the event because of ice conditions," Romportl said.
Although the ice fishing tournament has been canceled, the Lions will still host a cash raffle from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9 in the pavilion at Hodag Park by the Boom Lake boat landing.
Raffle tickets can be purchased between 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday and the drawing for the prizes will take place at 4 p.m in the pavilion.
The top prize is a $600 cash raffle, followed by a $300, $250, $150 and $100 cash prize, as well as five other non-cash prizes.
The Lions are still seeking support from the community to participate in the raffle in order to help raise funds for their various campaigns.
Funds raised through the raffle go toward numerous community projects implemented throughout the year by the Rhinelander Lions, including sponsoring children's programs at the YMCA, the Fourth of July Kiddie Parade, Lights of the Northwoods, the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry and the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing (NATH), among others.
Romportl said the annual fisheree is one of the Lions' most successful fundraisers of the year, and he worries that cancelling the fishing tournament will affect the funds they're able to raise this year.
"This will impact us, no doubt," Romportl said. "But we'll have to work harder in our other events and hopefully the community is going to respect our decision and at least come out and support us on Sunday to the extent that they can, so at least we can raise some funds."
Romportl said the insufficient ice is also impacting area sport and bait shops because fishermen aren't going out onto the ice like they usually do at this time of year. He said he hopes those shops and the community at large understand that the fishing tournament was canceled with the public's best interest in mind.
For more information on the raffle or supporting the Rhinelander Lions Club, contact Romportl at 715-360-4850.
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