Ice fishers

Park Board, Willow Slough prepare for last fishing derby before lake drained for maintenance

The 2022 Ice Fishing Derby will be the last one until late 2023 or 2024. Willow Slough’s Murphy Lake is set to be drained for improvements to be made to the manmade body of water.

“The winter and summer fishing derbies have been a mainstay of the Newton County Park Board and Willow Slough for at least a decade,” said Sara DeYoung, event coordinator for the board.

“They are popular events; it will be odd not to have the derbies, but we are looking forward to getting them started once plans for Murphy Lake are completed and fish levels have had time to rebound.”

The Newton County Park Board together with Willow Slough and the Department of Natural Resources invites you to join them for the annual Ice Fishing Derby from 6 to 11 am Saturday, January 29, at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. All ages are welcome! Donuts, hot chocolate and coffee will be available.

There will be no back-up date for this year’s event.

“Indiana weather is tricky, so please check our website and Facebook page for updates regarding ice conditions. Willow Slough can also be contacted,” said DeYoung.

There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for each age group. This free event will feature prizes for mystery weight winners. Participants MUST REGISTER TO WIN and MUST WEIGH IN BEFORE 11 AM. Registrants are able to weigh up to five fish. All state and property rules and regulations apply.

Event is subject to change or cancellation based on weather conditions. Please check the Newton County Park Board Facebook page, and website prior to the event for any last minute updates. Participants 18 and older must hold a valid Indiana fishing license. Fishing licenses are $9.00 and can be purchased on site.

The Newton County Park Board meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at Willow Slough Headquarters, 1803 S 700 W, Morocco and welcomes guests and new ideas. Email to be sent a meeting reminder.

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