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Hemlock Lake

Located in southeast Livingston County, Hemlock Lake lies 25 miles south of Rochester. Hemlock is one of the two Finger Lakes whose shorelines are virtually undeveloped.

Physical Features

Elevation: 905 feet
Area: 1,800 acres
Length: 7 miles
Maximum width: 0.5 miles
Maximum depth: 91 feet
Thermocline: about 30 feet

Plant Life

The largest weedbed is located at the lake's southern extremity. There are other isolated weedbeds located in small coves along the lake's east and west sides. While the north end of the lake also has a weedbed, this area is off limits to fishermen. Milfoil is the primary vegetation.

Public Access Sites

Public boat access is available only at the northeast corner of the lake, off Rix Road, and at the southeast corner off Route 15A. Both unimproved access points have gravel ramps.

Fishing Regulations

Special fishing regulations apply.

Fish Management

Lake trout historically provided the most significant sport-fishery on Hemlock Lake. In 1957, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted the first biological survey of Hemlock Lake. DEC records show that stocking of lake trout, landlocked salmon and cisco(lake herring) into Hemlock Lake began more then one hundred years ago. Later stocking efforts included rainbow trout, brown trout, smelt, walleye, and lake whitefish.

Currently, Hemlock's salmonid fishery consists of lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon. All these fish may be taken year-round-check your Fishing Regulations Guide for size and bag limits.

Good populations of smelt and alewives provide excellent trout and salmon growth. Annual stocking by DEC sustains the lake trout, brown trout, and landlocked salmon populations. The rainbow trout fishery is supported by natural reproduction from Springwater Creek.

Hemlock's warm water sportfishery includes smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and chain pickerel. The latter are noted for their large size. Significant opportunities are also available for panfish including bullhead(especially in spring), yellow perch, rock bass, bluegill and pumpkinseed.


Fishing Hemlock Lake offers a unique experience in western New York where most lakeshores are heavily developed. The beautifully wooded shorelines and hillsides of Hemlock and smaller Sister lake, Canadice, provide an atmosphere experienced only in relatively remote areas like the Adirondacks and Canadian provinces. The boat size/horsepower limitation contributes importantly to the "unspoiled" atmosphere.

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