The most westerly of the 11 Finger Lakes, Conesus Lake is located in Livingston County, 2 miles west of Livonia and 25 miles south of Rochester.
Elevation: 818 feet
Area: 3,420 acres
Length: 8 miles
Maximum width: 1 miles
Maximum depth: 66 feet
Thermocline: about 30 feet
Conesus is a source of drinking water for nearby towns and villages. Dissolved oxygen is adequate to support fish life throughout all seasons, except in deep water(below 35 ft) during summer. Water clarity ranges from clear to turbid ("murky"). Turbidity has increased due to changes in plankton populations caused by the recent introduction of alewives.
Aquatic plants are abundant in the shallows and out to a depth of about 15 feet, especially at the north and south ends. The species composition of rooted aquatic plants has changed over the years. Many native plants have been displaced by dense stands of Eurasian milfoil.
Special fishing regulations apply.
Ice fishing shelters are prohibited by the local Health ordinance.
Public Access Sites
Conesus Lake Public Boat Launch - located on East Lake Road (near MacPherson Point), 4 miles south of Rt.20A. Hard surface launch ramp; parking for 45 cars with trailers. Operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area - located off West Lake Rd.(Rt.256), at the south end of the lake. Cartop launch only; parking for 40 cars. Operated by the DEC.
Pebble Beach - located off Pebble Beach Road, northwest corner of the lake. Cartop and parking for 120 cars. Operated by the DEC.
Sand Point - located off Rt.20A, north end of the lake. Cartop and parking for 45 cars. Operated by the Town of Livonia and the DEC.
Conesus Lake has traditionally been a productive fishery for warmwater sportfish and panfish. Northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and walleye comprise the sportfishery; yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead are the principal panfish.
Over the years the species balance has shifted. During the 1960's, Conesus produced an outstanding walleye fishery which diminished through the 1970's. During this same time, Conesus was locally famous for its remarkable yellow perch ice fishing. However, this fishery declined throughout the 1980's most likely due to a population explosion of newly arrived, unwanted alewives that directly competed with young perch for their preferred food - large zooplankton (microscopic animals). It is also likely that the abundant alewives consumed perch fry.
Currently, Conesus produced excellent fishing for both bass species, northern pike, bluegills and sunfish. Based on on-going DEC studies, the walleye population is increasing in response to annual stocking of hatchery fingerlings. The yellow perch population also exhibits signs of improvement. Additionally, beginning in 1991, DEC began stocking Conesus with tiger muskies - a fast growing, sterile hybrid between northern pike and muskellunge. Early indications are that this striking fish will add an element of excitement to the fishery.