Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick

Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick

**** 3/20/22 – THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED ****

The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick made a big splash in the middle of the night … we are reviewing the video and will announce the winners soon! Thank you to everyone who participated in our contest.

The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick is a winter fundraiser to support the Chautauqua Lake Association’s summer in-lake service programs. Check in with our LIVE video feed to see if the CLA’s ice pick is still standing on the frozen lake or if it has fallen into the icy waters!

This year, the CLA will deliver the bright orange ice pick to the Lawson Center in Bemus Point on Friday, February 11, 2022. The contest will begin as soon as the time clock is engaged and guesses will be accepted through Sunday, March 20, 2022.

To participate, we invite you to predict the date and time (to the minute) that you believe the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick will fall through the ice. There will be a total of six winners, with cash prizes as follows:

  • Grand Prize winner will receive $250
  • The next five closest guesses will each receive $50

The Chautauqua Lake Association will use the remaining funds toward lake maintenance and near shore clean-up.

Prefer to pay by check? A paper form can be downloaded and mailed in with a check by clicking here.

The Contest is Now Closed

… But, donations are always welcome!

CHQ Lake Ice Pick is in the Water!

A still from our LIVE feed at the Lawson Center in Bemus Point!

CHQ Lake Ice History

Data has been recorded since 1924 regarding the date of the ice break in Bemus Bay, Chautauqua Lake.

About The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick

Introduced to Chautauqua Lake in 2011, the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick consists of four stabilizer feet, a center pole and a clock timer. Once the lake freezes over, it is placed on the ice in Bemus Bay.

The fundraiser, based on a wildly successful Alaskan tradition, was adapted for Chautauqua Lake by event originator Peter Sullivan.


1. Guess the closest date and time (to the minute) when the ice pick will fall through the ice.

2. Each guess requires a $5 donation and can be made online via credit card or by sending check and entry form to the CLA. To increase your odds of winning, multiple guesses are encouraged!

3. The event will begin when CLA places the Ice Pick on the lake and guesses will be accepted through Sunday, March 20, 2022.

The CLA Fundraising Committee reserves the right to extend or cut off guessing based on ice conditions.

4. The Ice Pick itself consists of four stabilizer feet and a center pole or “pick.” Three of the four legs must be submerged for the Ice Pick to be officially declared sunk. The Ice Pick will not be declared having fallen through the ice until the exact moment this occurs.  In an event that this happens during the night, the video recording will be reviewed by the Fundraising Committee and the time will be determined.

5. In the event of a tie, the prize will be split between the winners. Each participant can only win one prize. If a participant has multiple winning guesses, the next closest guess to the exact date/time will be used.

For a list of past winners, click here.

Your support can help preserve Chautauqua Lake for future generations.

The Chautauqua Lake Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to in-lake maintenance and management activities to protect and improve the quality of Chautauqua Lake. The CLA’s primary goal is to ensure the natural beauty, safety and utility of the lake as a recreational resource.