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Lake Cascade (Cascade Reservoir) is the fourth largest lake in Idaho, creating an extensive and diverse recreation site for visitors. Its nearly 30,000 surface acres of water attract over 300,000 outdoor enthusiasts annually for boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding, hiking, wildlife viewing and swimming. Lake Cascade is located in Valley County, Idaho and is 75 miles north of Boise, Idaho on Highway 55. Lake Cascade is in the Boise National Forest, adding more fine recreation opportunities. The lake is popular for all types of boating, and prevailing winds make sailing and windsurfing favorites.
Cascade Reservoir was created by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation with the impounding of the North Fork Payette River behind Cascade Dam. It was completed in 1948 as water storage for irrigation. Cascade Reservoir is part of the US Bureau of Reclamation's Boise Project and is in the Payette Division providing irrigation water for over 60,000 farming acres. In 1983, under a Federal Energy Regulation Commission license, the Idaho Power Company constructed a two unit 12,800 kilowatt power plant at the Cascade Dam.
Lake Cascade State Park provides excellent outdoor facilities, including many camping sites, hiking, biking, fishing, ramps and docks, playgrounds and horseshoe pits. Resort facilities at Lake Cascade include boat rentals, water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, fishing, lake tours and wine cruises. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and ice fishing. While you're out searching for one of the more than 30 nearby geocaches, your wildlife viewing can include bald eagles, sandhill cranes, pelicans and trumpeter swans.
Fishing is excellent with populations of rainbow trout, coho salmon, smallmouth bass and perch. Also found in Lake Cascade are kokanee salmon, bullhead catfish, tiger muskie, channel catfish and crappie. Both shore and boat fishing are enjoyed by the many anglers frequenting Lake Cascade, and winter ice fishing is a sport for the more rugged. The state record coho salmon was caught in 1992 (5 lb, 8 oz.)
All in all, Lake Cascade is a spectacular setting to enjoy all of the wealth of outdoor activities. A trip to Lake Cascade will provide a multitude of treasured memories.
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