Anglers are enjoying favorable ice conditions on Lake Cascade as we entered the second half of December. On Thursday, Dec. 17, we visited major ice fishing access areas and measured ice depth up to 300 yards from shore. We did not measure ice depth beyond 300 yards. We recorded 8 inches of ice on the southern half of Lake Cascade, five inches near Sugarloaf boat ramp, and 9 inches of ice on the northern half. There are multiple ice pressure ridges in the Sugarloaf area and one very large ridge between Van Wyck and Blue Heron, so exhibit caution if fishing in these areas. We also measured 4 inches of snow on the southern half of the lake and 6 inches on the northern half with more snow expected over the weekend.
We are starting to hear reports of anglers catching large perch and rainbow trout on both halves of the lake. As always, be careful when going out on the ice as thickness can vary greatly in a given area. Always use caution – drill holes and check for yourself. When traversing ice pressure ridges, ice can be very thin along cracks as ice sheet expands and contracts. Don’t go alone. Check out "Safety Tips" and find more information on IDFG’s Ice Fishing webpage.
Printed maps of ice fishing access areas on Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir are now available at Tackle Tom's on Main Street in Cascade and at the Lake Cascade State Park office on the south end of Cascade, as well as Ridley's and the Idaho Fish and Game office in McCall. I plan on giving frequent ice and access condition reports on Lake Cascade throughout the remainder of the ice fishing season. Good luck and stay safe out there!