On Thursday, Jan. 14, we visited two access areas on Lake Cascade to check surface and ice conditions. At Van Wyck access, we measured 5 inches of a slush/ice mix above 13 inches of clear ice. At Boulder Creek access, we measured 3 inches of snow and 7 inches of a slush/ice mix above 17 inches of clear ice (see below).
Due to current surface conditions, we do not recommend bringing wheeled-ATVs onto the Lake Cascade at this time. Additionally, those using snowmobiles should use caution and avoid staying in one spot for too long as to sink and/or freeze their machine in a slush area. Expect slush areas to be partially frozen in the morning and thaw as the day progresses, making travel difficult from one area to another on the lake.
Payette Lake conditions
We also recorded surface and ice conditions on Payette Lake near downtown McCall. We measured ice conditions roughly 50 yards from shore near the Mile High Marina area. We did not measure conditions beyond 50 yards. We recorded 3 inches of snow and 8 inches of a slush/ice mix over 4 inches of ice. In other areas of the lake, such as the northern end, we report between 1 and 2 inches of a slush/ice mix. Please use caution if angling on the southern end of Payette Lake near downtown McCall. Drill holes and check for yourself - use caution and don't go alone.
Ice conditions and thickness can vary greatly in a given area. Ice can be very thin along cracks as ice sheet expands and contracts. Check out "Safety Tips" and find more information on Fish and Game's Ice Fishing webpage.
Horsethief Reservoir conditions
Lastly, we visited Horsethief Reservoir to record surface and ice conditions near the dam. We recorded a mix of snow and ice: 3 inches of snow, 5 inches of slush/ice, 3 inches of ice, 3 inches of slush, and 13 inches of clear ice (see below).
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.
For fishing regulations, recommended species and other information for the McCall area, visit the Fishing Planner, or contact the McCall fish and Game office at (208) 634-8137.
Good luck and stay safe out there!