CECIL, Wis. (WFRV) – Warm temperatures are preventing a group of high school fishers from being crowned champions. School board member and High School fishing coach Bradley Gumtow says safety matters most.

“There were supposed to be 68 teams coming, over 800 students, and best interest of the students, we could not have any unsafe ice out there or the potential for unsafe ice,” said Gumtow.

The W.I.F.A State High School Ice Fishing Tournament was canceled due to poor ice conditions, and melting ice is preventing students from competing. 

“It was canceled it was a tough decision, we made the decision based on ice conditions, rain forecasted, snow forecasted, and warm temperatures,” stated Gumtow. 

Gumtow says days before the tournament, the ice on Shawano Lake has proven to be dangerous for the event. 

“There’s a lot of open wholes a lot of ice shacks have gone down in the past day, a lot of vehicles could be swallowed up as well even a person, so if someone did fall in, it’s a life and death situation,” said Gumtow. 

 They do not plan to have a makeup date for the ice fishing tournament this season, but Gumtow says students can expect to compete next year, weather permitting.

“We definitely plan to be back here in the future, this year was just a little unfortunate, with everything in mind, we believe we made the best decision for the safety of everyone.” 

Students are encouraged to attend a mixer at Shawano Middle School on Friday, February 17th.