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Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir ice conditions - Dec. 22, 2021

Update by Justin Furby, Fisheries Technician

On Wednesday, December 22nd we checked surface and ice conditions on Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir.  In general, Cascade is not yet safe for fishing, but Horsethief is in play. Although air temperatures will be dropping over the weekend, Valley County is forecasted to recieve heavy snowfall in the coming days, which will likely result in a longer period of waiting for Cascade to build ice, and may result in unfavorable conditions at Horsethief as well. We'll plan to issue another ice condition update next week. STAY TUNED!  

Lake Cascade

Current ice conditions on Lake Cascade are not yet safe for ice fishing. I visited two access areas on Lake Cascade. At Van Wyck access (south end), ice was beginning to form but open water was visible.  At Boulder Creek access (north end), I measured a half inch of snow, five inches of slush, and a single inch of ice near the boat ramp. 

Horsethief Reservoir

Horsethief Reservoir is safe to ice fish on foot, except for the area near the dam. I recorded conditions at three areas on Horsethief Reservoir. At the King's Point boat ramp, I measured one inch of slush and six inches of ice. Out from there, near the middle of the lake, I measured four inches of snow and four inches of ice. Next to the dam, there was only two inches of slush and ice, respectively. Early conditions still exist, but fishermen were present and reported catching brown trout and rainbow trout.

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!