The Moosehead Lake Togue Derby began in 2008 as a strategy by the IFW Fisheries Biologists to help control the over-abundant togue population in Maine's largest lake. At the time, there we so many small togue in the lake that there was not enough food to support good growth for the coldwater gamefish populations including togue and landlocked salmon. The idea of the derby was to increase winter fishing use and at the same time, liberalize size and bag limits. The strategy worked very well and after just 4 years, togue and salmon growth demonstrated an amazing recovery.
The derby continues as a method to control the togue population and as a great festival weekend in the winter on Moosehead Lake. Cash prizes for the 3 largest togue are given out each year: $1,500 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. A Grand Prize is drawn from all entry tickets and usually includes vacation trips, firearms, cash, and ice auger and other ice fishing items donated by Indian Hill Trading Post. Dozens of smaller gifts are also given away.
We are fortunate to have NASCAR personality Ricky Craven as a host for each derby. Ricky can be seen cruising around the lake on his sled during the derby and is available at the final weigh-in on Sunday afternoon to answer all your racing questions.
Some of the proceeds from the Derby go into NREC's Fisheries Internship/Enhancement fund and are therefore used to further fisheries management in the Moosehead Lake Region.
NREC would like to thank all of our sponsors. We couldn't pull it off without your generosity.