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Idaho Fish and Game

Lake Cascade, perch, ice fishing

F&G asks ice anglers and 'polar plunge' participants to take precautions on Lake Cascade


Idaho Fish and Game wants to remind ice anglers this winter to always remain cautious when walking or operating off-highway vehicles on ice. Throughout this winter ice fishing season, there have been multiple reports of people cutting large square holes in the ice so they can take a "polar plunge" or ice bath. 

These holes then freeze back over, creating a large area of significantly weaker ice, which poses a risk to unsuspecting anglers or other recreational users. Recently on Lake Cascade, a snowmobile crossed one of the refrozen holes created by one of these ice baths and broke through. 

Fortunately, the rider was unharmed, however, had this occurred in deeper water with a less experienced rider and the outcome could have been much worse.

To members of the public seeking to make similar style holes for a fun polar plunge, Fish and Game staff asks that you take the following into consideration:

  • Clearly mark the area before leaving the hole unattended.  Winter visibility can often be very low so make sure markings are easily visible and makes others aware of the danger.
  • Avoid making these holes in front of or in close proximity to major public access sites such as docks or boat launches.
  • Never polar plunge alone! Cold water shock occurs quickly and can be fatal. It can also be difficult to get out of the water and back onto the ice by yourself.
  • Be prepared with any necessary safety equipment to quickly remove someone from the frigid water.