On Wednesday, January 5 we checked surface and ice conditions on Lake Cascade. Ice conditions are similar to those reported last week with fishable ice observed (at least 4 inches) at each location. Traveling on the lake has become more difficult with warming temperatures and greater amounts of slush and snow. The use of snowshoes for fisherman traveling on foot is recommended. Air temperatures are forecasted to increase this weekend in addition to moderate snow accumulation which will likely result in poor ice building conditions. Another ice update will be posted next week. STAY TUNED!
I visited three access areas on Lake Cascade to measure ice thickness. At Blue Heron access (south end), I measured four inches of ice underneath one inch of slush and seven inches of snow. At Boulder Creek (north end), I measured seven inches of ice under three inches of slush, and nine inches of snow. At Poison Creek access area, I measured ten inches of ice underneath two inches of slush and twelve inches of snow. Measurements were taken no more than one hundred yards from the boat ramp. Ice fishing on foot is still recommended on the southern part of the lake (without the aid of snowmobiles) due to early season conditions. On the northern end of the lake, ice is accumulating, but hazardous spots still exist. There were several reports of tracked ATVs and snowmachines breaking through the surface last weekend. Use caution.
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!