Moosehead Lake Togue Derby returns this weekend

GREENVILLE —  The 16th annual Moosehead Lake Togue Derby begins this weekend, from Friday to Sunday on Jan. 27-29. 

Per the Moosehead Lake Togue Derby Facebook page, due to the warm winter so far the Natural Resource Education Center will be adding a second weekend to the derby on Feb. 17-19.

“We understand that some folks make camp reservations a year ahead and will be here in late January,” a page post said. “We suspect there will be a few places to find enough ice to fish, but we are unsure about the conditions for most of the lake. It’s a big, deep lake and it takes time to freeze. In times like this, discretion is the better part of valor.

“So, the weigh stations will be opened as advertised on the weekend of Jan. 27 through the 29th. If you’re here, we will be at the weigh station. But we are encouraging people to be safe and patient. At 4 p.m. on Jan 29, we will pause the leader board and the derby will resume on Friday Feb 17. The derby will continue until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 19. All rules apply to both weekends. One derby entry ticket is sufficient for both weekends. All door prizes will be drawn on the evening of Feb 18 and posted on this Facebook page. You do not have to be present to win a prize.”

Photo courtesy of Natural Resource Education Center at Moosehead
PRIZE CATCH — Billy Grotton of Canaan shows off the winning fish he caught during last year’s Moosehead Lake Togue Derby. Grotton’s fish measured 27.75 inches and weighed 8.09 pounds.

Three prizes will be awarded for the largest, second-, and third-largest togue. Winners will be ranked by weight. Prizes for the three largest togue are $1,500, $500, and $250.

No fish need to be caught for door prizes. The first door prize winner takes home a check for $1,500. There also are well over 50 other prizes: gift cards, gift certificates, gas cards, sports tickets, and goods from businesses around the state.

The youth prize (age 15 and under) drawing includes a lifetime fishing license.

Official rules:

This derby is for lake trout (togue) caught in Moosehead Lake only. No other fish can be entered. For this month all fish entered in the derby must be caught between 12:01 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and the close of the derby at 4 p.m. Jan. 30. You must be in line at 4 p.m. on Sunday to have your fish weighed to be included in the derby. Derby ticket sales end at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan 27 and at 12 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at all locations and online. You must have a valid entry form to have your fish weighed.

Fish can be weighed at the Bartley Event Center (241 Pritham Avenue) or the Moosehead Bait and Tackle in Rockwood. Weigh stations will be open Friday 3-6 p.m., Saturday 4-6 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All fish must be free of ice, snow, & visible bait and/or tackle before weighing.

The legal bag limit on Moosehead Lake is one togue over 18 inches. Participants are reminded if they keep a togue over 18 inches to register for a prize, they must legally consume that fish before keeping another togue over 18 inches

Entrants with a potential winning fish will be required to provide the judges with the exact location of their catch. The top three winners will be required to sign an affidavit that their winning entries were caught in Moosehead Lake and may be subject to interviews by the judges. All winning fish may be retained and closely examined by the judges. In all matters, the decision of the derby judges will be final.

All Maine ice fishing regulations must be followed and all winners unless exempt will be required to provide proof of a valid fishing license.

The derby will be postponed by NREC in the event that Moosehead Lake does not have a safe thickness of ice and the derby will be rescheduled.

Three prizes will be awarded for the first, second, and third largest togue. Winners will be ranked by weight. First tiebreaker will be the longest length; second tiebreaker will be the earlier time weighed. In all matters, the decision of the derby judges will be final.

We will draw door prizes from entry tickets Saturday evening and post the results on the NREC Facebook page. Please do not show up at the weigh station for the drawing. There will be only one entry per ticket into the door prize drawing. This is the primary name, address, and phone number on the ticket. However, all names on a family ticket may enter a fish into the derby. Children’s names on the family ticket and names from the additional youth drawing tickets will be entered into a separate drawing. First prize is a resident lifetime fishing license if the winner is age 15 or younger. If the winner is not eligible for the Resident lifetime license, they will receive $250.

We will have all prizes at the Greenville weigh-in station on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you can pick them up on the way out of town.

We will attempt to notify winners on Monday and Tuesday after the derby. Winners have until the end of the 2024 Moosehead Lake Togue Derby (one year) to pick up prizes at the Moosehead Region Visitors’ Center.

As a final note: We are encouraging anglers to harvest their limit of smaller togue to help control the population. IFW states that additional harvest is needed to keep the population in check and ensure good growth for togue, salmon and brook trout. The derby has been very successful in helping to manage the fisheries on Moosehead Lake. 

For more information, see the Moosehead Lake Togue Derby Facebook page at and the Eventbrite page  at

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