Findley Lake is a 292-acre lake located in southwestern Chautauqua County. The lake has a maximum depth of 37 feet and a mean depth of 11 feet. Lake levels are regulated by a small dam. Findley Lake provides angling for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, tiger muskellunge and several species of panfish. Public access for launching of boats and canoes is provided at two sites at the north end of the lake on Route 426. One launch is operated by the NYS-DEC and is for hand launching only, while the other, operated by the Findley Lake Association is open to the public on weekdays only. The Findley Lake Association ramp is for trailered boats. Fish habitat in Findley Lake is provided mainly by beds of aquatic vegetation. Anglers should note that the lake experiences oxygen depletion below depths of 13 feet - 15 feet from June-September, preventing fish from living below these depths.
Findley Lake provides angling for several types of panfish. The most common are; black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and pumpkinseed. Live baits such as worms and minnows produce well, as do jigs and small lures. Ice fishing is popular on Findley Lake, especially for panfish. In the spring, try using an 8 foot fly rod with a 3-4 weight line and poppers or wet flies for some fast action with sunfish.
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are found in good numbers in Findley Lake and their growth rate is average, reaching 12 inches by age 5. Bass anglers have success with spinner baits, surface plugs, plastic worms, crank baits as well as live crawfish and shiners. Largemouth bass prefer areas of dense vegetation, while smallmouth bass prefer more open areas, particularly those with rocky bottoms.
Tiger Muskellunge, Northern Pike and Walleye
Findley Lake is stocked with fall fingerling tiger muskies each year. These fish, (after several years in the lake) can reach 30 inches - 45 inches. Tiger muskies are an artificial hybrid cross between a female muskellunge and a male northern pike. Northern pike reproduce naturally in the lake and are found in moderate numbers. Most pike will be in the 18 inch - 25 inch range, although fish in the 30 inch - 35 inch range are taken occasionally. When fishing for tiger muskie and pike, anglers do well with large live minnows and baitfish imitations in the 6 inch - 10 inch size range. Walleye were stocked experimentally in the lake from 1992-1996, but results of these stocking have been poor. While the lake is no longer stocked with walleye, anglers will still catch fish that survived from the stockings for several years to come.