Ice fishing update, Jan. 22: Cascade and Payette Lakes

Snow and travel conditions have improved following a week of colder temperatures. On Friday, Jan. 22, I visited two access areas on Lake Cascade to check surface and ice conditions. At Van Wyck access, I measured 3 inches of snow and 14 inches of ice. At Boulder Creek access, I measured 5 inches of snow, 2 inches of ice, 5 inches of slush, and 17 inches of ice - tough going with a hand auger! The thin layer of ice at Boulder Creek access (northern Lake Cascade) could make traveling with wheeled ATVs difficult, but conditions across the lake have otherwise improved greatly. The forecast looks promising for this weekend (Jan. 23 - 24) with cold nights and partly clear skies.

Ice Conditions at Lake Cascade - Jan 22, 2021
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Mike Thomas/IDFG

Payette Lake Conditions

Since last week's report, ice conditions have improved on Payette Lake. I measured ice conditions roughly 200 yards from the boat ramp at Mile High Marina. I did not measure conditions beyond 200 yards. I recorded 4 inches of snow, 2 inches of ice, 2 inches of slush, and 5 inches of ice. On the northern end of Payette Lake, I recorded 2 inches of snow and 5 inches of ice 50 yards off the Warren Wagon Road below North Shore. I did not measure ice beyond 50 yards. Ice is likely still developing over the deeper areas of Payette Lake, so please use caution if fishing in these areas. Drill holes and check for yourself - use caution and don't go alone. 

Ice Conditions at Payette Lake - Jan. 22, 2021
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Mike Thomas/IDFG

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

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!

IDFG Ice Thickness Chart
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IDFG