The North Park area hosts ice fishing tournaments in the winter

The seasonal sport of ice fishing is all the more popular when money and other prizes are part of the catch. On January 22 and 23, 2022, the North Park Chamber of Commerce in Walden, Colo. Will host large numbers of participants at two tournament lakes and on February 5 at a third venue.

The two-day January competition will be held at Lake John Resort in Walden and Cowdrey Lake in Cowdrey. The February competition follows just two weeks later at Delaney Butte Lakes in Walden.

Event contact Whitney Milek said the North Park area tournaments were first held at least 30 years ago, initially so small and informal that the records don’t go back that far. Things are definitely different now, with easy online entries and money / prizes drawing anglers from all over Colorado and several other states.

Many ice fishing participants from Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota were eagerly vying for the 2021 tournament prizes. Milek said part of the reason for the increased interest was COVID-19, which has interrupted numerous events in the United States and around the world. Those confined to the house aspired to have a safe chance to exit.

As attracting fish stuck in the open-air ice is a virtually safe activity, Walden drew 480 avid trout hunters (almost double the small town’s normal population of 590) to the Lake John Resort competition and 200 to Delaney Butte. Lakes. Milek was pleased to note that the plentiful entry numbers were much higher than in previous years. She added that the number of early admissions for 2022 already looks very promising.

Merchants in the region will appreciate this bonus. Besides entrance fees, January / February events generate income from accommodation and RV spaces, food and drink, souvenirs and other miscellaneous merchandise.


The town of Walden sits at an elevation of 8,200 feet with both diverse and breathtaking scenery. Lake John Resort is located right at the base of Sheep Mountain, while Cowdrey Lake stands out among the sagebrush, Milek said. Delaney Butte Lakes, at the foot of Delaney Butte, is a 25-minute drive from Walden and Lake John.

This competitor in the Delaney Lakes ice fishing tournament in February 2021 looks very happy with his catch. Photo by Whitney Milek

Milek recalled the 2021 Delaney Lakes tournament for several reasons. The weather was quite difficult, with very cold temperatures and strong punitive winds. In addition, this was the first year for the new board of directors.

To avoid frostbite or other winter woes while measuring fish for rewards, people gathered around cozy homes. Somehow, a board member managed to ignite not once but twice during the day. She ignited her snow pants and set her hair on fire, so much so that the embarrassed lady borrowed a knife to do immediate DIY trimming work on her steaming locks!

The grand prize winners of the 2021 tournaments rolled up some very impressive trout. Rock Roop with a 45 inch (total size) trout won first place at Lake John Resort / Cowdrey Lake. Marvin Rosencrans caught up to his 39.13-inch first-place winner at Delaney Lakes.

Milek summed up the two shady tournaments for excitement and camaraderie, saying, “It’s a fun time with lots of laughs!”


The 2022 quarry at John Lake and Cowdrey Lake will consist of rainbow, rainbow and cutthroat trout. Brown trout will join the mix at Delaney Butte Lakes on February 5th.

By fishing for a share of the bounty, participants hope to catch the bigger fish. Cash prizes are awarded based on the length and girth of the trout caught by each adult over the two days of the January competition: first place wins $ 1,500; the second deserves $ 1,000; the third receives $ 500.

Youth 16 and under will compete for separate prizes: first place wins $ 100; second $ 75; third $ 50; fourth $ 25.

Adult registration is $ 50; under 16 is $ 15. Young people can choose to register as adults by paying the highest registration fee in order to try out the highest prices. (Milek reported that several children have proudly won the adult division over the past few years.)

A beauty of a trout caught at Delaney Lakes in February 2021. Photo by Whitney Milek

Additionally, a prize package for the two-day / two-lake competition is $ 100 for the largest fish caught every hour during the designated hours.

Bucket draws are run for over $ 2,500 in donated prizes, while a 50/50 draw can bring in a lot of money. For just $ 1 per ticket, the holder is eligible to earn half of the proceeds of total ticket revenue. (Last year’s lucky winner walked away with $ 980.)

The draws and prizes will be held at the Lake John Resort at 2 p.m. on Sunday January 23; must be present to win.

Somewhere beneath that anti-COVID 19 mask is a big smile from Sean O’Brien III, the young 2021 winner of the Delaney Lakes Ice Fishing Tournament. Photo by Whitney Milek

All tournament supplies are on a BYO basis. Lake John Resort, however, has augers and fishing cabins for rent. A tourist destination all year round, the complex also offers rental chalets and camper van spaces.


For more frigid excitement, the Delaney Butte Lakes Ice Fishing Tournament takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST in Walden, Colo.

What is particularly noteworthy about this place is that the lake is a stored gold medal water from which the state collects brown trout eggs. These are then cultivated to replenish the lakes all around Colorado.

Most of the rest of the information is the same as for the January sites except the size of the winning fish depends on different criteria i.e. qualifying rainbows must be over 18 inches long , etc. Check the website for updates and additional information.


The 2022 Ice Fishing Tournament will take place on Saturday, January 22, 2022, starting at 6 a.m. and continuing on Sunday, January 23 from noon (MST) at the Lake John Resort, Walden, Colo., And Cowdrey Lake in Cowdrey, Colo. .

Participants can register online for the two-day January event under “Calendar” at You can also register in person at the Lake John Resort on the Friday before or the day of the tournament. (And at Delaney Lakes for its February tournament.) Registration is also available at the North Park Chamber of Commerce, 489 Main Street, Walden, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Friday before each tournament.

The C of C website provides ongoing updates. For questions or additional information, you can also call the Whitney Milek event contact at (970) 723-4600.

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