Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir ice conditions - Dec. 30, 2021

On Thursday, December 30th we checked surface and ice conditions on Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir. Ice conditions have improved substantially on Cascade over the past week, and there is now fishable ice (at least 4 inches) at both locations. We still observed ice thinner than 4 inches at both locations, so early season conditions still exist and anglers should be cautious venturing onto the ice. Air temperatures are forecasted to stay low this weekend and minimal snow is forecasted after Friday, so hopefully the ice builds fast and conditions continue to improve.  Another ice update will be posted next week. STAY TUNED!  

Lake Cascade

I visited three access areas on the lake to measure ice thickness. At Blue Heron access (south end), I measured three to four inches of ice underneath three inches of compacted slush and eight inches of snow. At both Boulder Creek and Poison Creek access areas (north end), I measured five inches of ice underneath four inches of compacted slush and eight inches of snow near the boat ramps. Ice fishing on foot (without the aid of snowmobiles) is the only recommended method of travel on Cascade at this time due to early season conditions. Be patient.

Ice Conditions - Poison Creek and Boulder Creek Access Areas
Creative Commons Licence
Justin Furby / IDFG

Horsethief Reservoir 

I recorded conditions at three areas on Horsethief Reservoir. At the King's Point boat ramp, I measured six inches of ice underneath two inches of compacted slush and four inches of snow. Near the middle of the lake, the same measurements were obtained. Next to the dam however, I mesured only three inches of ice underneath three inches of compacted slush and four inches of snow. Horsethief Reservoir offers opportunity for excellent catch rates for hatchery-stocked rainbow trout, and is home to kokanee salmon and brown trout as well. 

Ice Conditions - Horsethief Reservoir Dec. 30, 2021
Creative Commons Licence
Justin Furby / IDFG

Ice conditions and thickness can vary greatly in a given area. Drill holes and check for yourself - use caution and don't go alone. Ice can be very thin along cracks as ice sheets expand and contract. Check out this recent BLOG with some early season "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 local tackle shops in Cascade and McCall, as well as the Fish and Game office. For fishing regulations, recommended species, and other information for the McCall area, visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Fishing Planner, or contact the McCall Fish and Game office at (208) 634-8137. Good luck and stay safe out there!