Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick

The Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick, based on a wildly successful Alaskan tradition, is a winter fundraiser to support the Chautauqua Lake Association.

Each year, as weather allows, our crew places the bright orange Ice Pick at at the Lawson Center in Bemus Point, New York. This year, the event will begin on Friday, February 5, and run through the spring thaw.

To participate, predict the date and time (to the minute) that you think the pick will fall through the ice. The six closest guesses will win a cash prize! The Grand Prize winner will receive $250 and 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.


  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 March 20, 2021. The CLA Fundraiser 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.” For the Ice Pick to be officially declared sunken, three of the four legs must be submerged. 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 guesses that are winners the closest guess to the exact date/time will be used. For a list of past winners, click here.

The contest is now closed, but donations to the CLA are still very much appreciated.

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.