View All Bills

HB 113: Big Payette and Cascade Lakes Water Quality Act —2021

Summary: HB 113 would establish two advisory councils to promote, protect and restore water quality in Big Payette and Cascade Lakes.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Dead

Issue Areas: Lake Cascade, Payette Lake, Water Quality

Official Legislative Site

The bill was returned to committee based on concerns over the inclusion of Lake Cascade, and is unlikely to have further consideration this year.


Rep. Terry Gestrin (R-Donnelly) introduced the Big Payette and Cascade Lakes Water Quality Act. The bill would reauthorize a council that was created back in 1993, but has since expired, to promote water quality efforts in Big and Little Payette Lakes and would expand these efforts to Lake Cascade.

Lake Cascasde and Payette Lakes are located in Valley County in West Central Idaho, and serve as the hub for the regions economy, centered in the growing mountain towns of Cascade, Donnelly, McCall, and Long Valley. The lakes, and clean water are the primary driver for the region’s economy and unfortunately, water quality concerns and increased development around the lakes are making things worse. Population growth, increased sediment and pollution all contribute to annual algal outbreaks and other water quality concerns. Lake Cascade is impacted each summer by outbreaks of toxic algae that close areas to swimming, and threaten the health of people and animals alike. Payette Lake has never experienced a confirmed toxic blue-green toxic algae outbreak, but its likely only a matter of time.

The council would serve in an advisory capacity to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, related to water quality, and would also promote public awareness and public involvement with regards to efforts to protect and restore water quality in these two lakes. The bill is supported by the Valley County Commission, City Council of McCall, local interests like United Payette and others.