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Lake Cascade and Payette Lake ice conditions - Feb. 16, 2022

On Wednesday, February 16 we checked conditions on Cascade and Payette Lakes. Surface and ice conditions remain favorable for travel on both lakes. Please be aware of warm daily highs leading into the weekend, followed by some snow forecasted on Sunday. On Lake Cascade, we do not recommend using wheeled ATVs or UTVs due to unpredictable slush development. On Payette Lake we do not recommend any motorized forms of travel. 

Anglers are have been seeing a lot of chironomid larvae (AKA "Bloodworms") in Yellow Perch stomachs throughout the last month or so. Larvae of these common, non-biting midge flies are an important part of fishes diets in Lake Cascade. These larvae typically burrow into the bottom substrate (mud/sand) and feed on decomposing organic matter (old weed beds, decaying wood, etc). Some anglers have found success by down-sizing presentations and covering a lot of ground (and depths) searching for active fish. Best of luck to all anglers heading out this weekend! Another ice update will be posted next week. STAY TUNED!

Lake Cascade

On Lake Cascade I visited two access areas. At the Boulder Creek Access area (north end), I measured seven inches of clear ice underneath ten inches of white ice below seven inches of compacted snow. At the Wan Wyck access area (south end), I measured seven inches of clear ice underneath seven inches of white ice below three inches of compacted snow. Both measurements were taken near the middle of the lake. With current ice conditions, travel on the lake is suitable by foot or snowmobile. 


Payette Lake

Conditions are great on Payette Lake, with ice observed on all parts of the lake. I measured ice at the Mile High Marina boat ramp (south end). This measurement was taken over 200 yards from shore, near the middle of the lake. Seven inches of clear ice underneath four inches of white ice beneath six inches of compacted snow were observed. Foot travel is the ONLY recommended method on Payette Lake. Please be careful and drill holes to check ice profiles for yourself if visiting other areas of the lake. 

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. Be careful out there and watch out for each other. 

Printed maps of ice fishing access areas on Lake Cascade and Horsethief Reservoir are available at local tackle shops in Cascade and McCall, as well as the Fish and Game offices in McCall and Nampa. 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!