Department of Environmental Conservation

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Cuba Lake

Cuba Lake is located north of the Village of Cuba, in western Allegany County. It is a man-made lake that was created in 1858 as a source of water for the Genesee Valley Canal system. In the winter, Cuba Lake's water level is drawn down 6 - 8 feet.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1,530 feet
Area: 445 acres
Shoreline Length: 6.0 miles
Max Depth: 46 feet
Mean Depth: 20 feet
Town: Cuba


Public boating access is provided at the DEC boat launch site off West Shore Road, near the Rawson Creek inlet. A hand launch into the creek itself can accommodate canoes and kayaks. Trailered boats can launch at the main launch, which is equipped with a concrete ramp and floating docks. Parking is available for 24 cars with trailers and 10 additional cars. Access for ice fishing anglers is provided at the south end of the dam on South Shore Road.

Fish Species:

Largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, black crappie.


Cuba Lake provides angling for walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and several species of panfish. Fish habitat in Cuba Lake is provided mainly by beds of aquatic vegetation. Anglers should note that the lake experiences oxygen depletion below depths of 15 - 20 feet from June-September, preventing fish from living below these depths.

Walleye and Northern Pike: Walleye are the dominate predator in Cuba Lake and provide good action for fish in the 15 - 20 inch range. Because of slow growth rates, walleye over 20 inches are rare. The northern pike population is increasing, with fish up to 36 inches surprising anglers targeting bass or walleye.

Angler holding largemouth bass caught from Cuba Lake.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are found in good numbers in Cuba Lake. However their growth rate is relatively slow, taking fish almost 5 years to reach minimum legal size of 12 inches. Largemouth bass are also found in the lake, but they are much less common than smallmouth bass. Bass anglers have success with spinner baits, surface plugs, plastic worms, crank baits as well as live crayfish and shiners.

Panfish: Cuba Lake provides angling for several species of panfish including; yellow perch, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead and black crappie. Yellow perch are abundant and have become Cuba Lake's dominant panfish species. Rock bass and other sunfish species are present in lower numbers, but still provide for good angling opportunity. Live baits such as worms and minnows produce well, as do jigs and small lures. Ice fishing is popular on Cuba Lake and a good way to catch both walleye and panfish. In 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. Bullhead are most active after sunset and can be taken using nightcrawlers and scented baits. Cuba Lake is also known as an excellent place to fish for common carp and anglers are encouraged to experience the fun of fighting these fish that can exceed 20 pounds. Kernel corn, worms and scented baits all attract carp which do most of their feeding using their sense of smell.

Ice Fishing:

Ice fishing is permitted on Cuba Lake.


Statewide fishing regulations apply.