The Big Lost Irrigation District informed Idaho Fish and Game and anglers that it will begin to increase the amount of water released from the Mackay Dam beginning Mar. 11 to draw down the reservoir in anticipation of the incoming spring runoff.

The water master of the irrigation district plans on opening the dam in small increments over the next several weeks. As water is released from the dam the water levels in the reservoir may fluctuate, causing the ice to crack or deteriorate quickly. Typically the edges of the ice will fall apart first and become increasingly unsafe as the water level lowers.

“People with ice huts on the reservoir may want to consider removing them before conditions become unsafe to do so,” says Conservation Officer Steve Roberts. “Anyone heading out onto the ice needs to be aware of the dangers and use extreme caution.”

For tips on ice safety and other ice fishing opportunities in Idaho please visit

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