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Despite Warm Weather, NH Ice Derby Will Go On

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There are huge swaths of open water on Lake Winnipesaukee.

There are huge swaths of open water on Lake Winnipesaukee.

WBZ-TV's Lauren Leamanczyk Lauren Leamanczyk
Lauren Leamanczyk is a WBZ-TV News General Assignment Reporter for CBS...
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MEREDITH, N.H. (CBS) – Lake Winnipesaukee should be frozen over, but there are big holes in the ice. In just a few days, ice fishermen will be looking to set up shop for a winter tradition.

But this year’s Rotary Ice Derby is missing the key ingredient: Ice.

Derby Chairman Tracy Aquilla says that’s bad news for the derby that in the past has drawn more than 5,000 anglers and even more spectators to Meredith.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

“This is where most of the activity is in terms of vendors and snowmobiles, spectators,” says Acquilla. “It hurts the derby if we can’t use this bay.”

The problem with the ice here on Winnipesaukee is the consistency.  State officials are sounding a warning based on pictures showing huge swaths of open water on the lake.

“You ought to utilize some of the small ponds in our area and use extreme caution on some of our larger lakes,” says Lt. James Goss of New Hampshire Fish and Game.

In 33 years, no one can remember a winter like this. But the derby will go on.

“It’s not just about selling the tickets,” says Aquilla. “There’s a lot of businesses around here that benefit from this.”

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