Lake Cascade is a reservoir used for irrigation. The lake level varies during the year. At high water, the beaches around the lake are covered or nearly covered by water. At low water, the beaches are large and the lake is small and shallow. On average, high water is June and the first part of July. Low water is from the end of September to the first of April.
Following a delay due to World War II, the earthen dam was built by the Bureau of Reclamation, and completed in 1948. The term “Lake Cascade” came into common use in the 1990’s, with the federal name change made in 1999. At full pool the lake’s elevation is 4,828 feet, covers 47 square miles,i.e. 30,080 acres, and holds 693,100 acre feet of water. It is the fifth largest lake in the State of Idaho.
The lake is served by several boat ramps.
The Donnelly Cabin is closest to the Donnelly City Park, about a mile to the north, which has an end of ramp elevation of 4817 feet. During the end of the boating season when the water level drops below that elevation we use Rainbow Point (4814) or Poison Creek (4812).
In 2016, the lake was fullest on June 10, at 4827.44 feet. On August 1, 2016 it was at 4821.6 feet and on August 31, 2016 it was at 4816.75 feet. On October 6, 2016 it reached the lowest level for the year at 4813.48 feet. In 2017, the lake was fullest on July 1, at 4827.36 feet. On August 1, 2017, it was at 4824.51 feet and on August 31, 2017, it was at 4820.17 feet. On September 19, 2017, it reached the lowest level for the year at 4818.32 feet. In 2018, it was fullest on June 2 at 4827.73. On August 1, 2018, it was at 4822.44 feet and on August 31, 2018 it was at 4818.57 feet. On October 3, 2018 it reached the lowest level for the year at 4815.69.
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