Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick Deadline Extended Until March 15

BEMUS POINT – Despite the prediction of Dunkirk Dave, the winter weather has extended the deadline for the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition.

The Chautauqua Lake Association announced on Tuesday that the deadline for entering guesses into the Chautauqua Lake Ice Pick competition will be extended until March 15.

Each guess costs $5. The ice pick is located in front of the Lawson Center in Bemus Point.

According to Heather Nolan of the Chautauqua Lake Association, the deadline for guesses was also extended last year.

“The ice is not going anywhere for the next few weeks,” she said, adding that the majority of guesses are for dates between mid-March and the end of April.

Nolan said that roughly $8,000 has already been raised – making the association’s goal of $11,000 a real possibility.

In a recent press release, Doug Conroe, Chautauqua Lake Association president, explained the payout for guessing when the ice pick will fall.

“The winner will receive 25 percent of the entire jackpot,” he said. “The five closest contestants will each receive 5 percent of the entire jackpot.”

The remaining proceeds will go to the Chautauqua Lake Association to help keep the lake clean and fund year-round maintenance of the lake.

Last year, $5,000 from the contest directly benefited the lake.

Peter Sullivan created the event after traveling to Nenana, Alaska, and witnessing an annual event to predict when the ice would break. Originally, the tradition began during a time when the ice breaking signified that supplies would soon be on their way via ship. The first contest hosted by the Chautauqua Lake Association was in 2008.

The Chautauqua Lake Association’s mission is to provide effective and efficient lake management services for the benefit of all the lake’s users.

To enter a guess into the competition, visit and download the form to mail in or enter online with a credit card. For more information about the Chautauqua Lake Association, visit or call 763-8602.