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Madison Reservoir

Madison Reservoir, also known as Lake Moraine, is a highly developed water body located in Madison County near the villages of Madison and Hamilton. It is one of the numerous area reservoirs that was built to supply water to the Erie Canal.

Madison Reservoir Contour Map
Click on the thumbnail to access
a large map in PDF (304 Kb)

Physical Features

Elevation: 1,300 feet
Area: 251 acres
Length: 1.62 miles
Maximum Depth: 45 feet

Plant Life

Traditionally Madison Reservoir has had significant rooted aquatic vegetation growth around much of the lake with the areas around Snake Island, the large bay on the west side and the portion of the reservoir found north of the causeway being heavily weeded. In an effort to reduce the amount of the exotic invasive plant, Eurasian watermilfoil, the reservoir was chemically treated in 2006. There are a variety of native aquatic plants now growing in the reservoir along with the remaining watermilfoil.

Public Access Sites

On County Route 87 (East Lake Road), 3 miles south of Madison. Concrete ramp. Parking for 13 cars and trailers.

General Fishing Information

The main gamefish found in the reservoir are tiger musky, chain pickerel, and largemouth bass. The reservoir is well known for producing large chain pickerel up to 24". Black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass and yellow perch are the main panfish in the lake. Casting along the shoreline or weed edges with spinnerbaits, stickbaits and lipless crankbaits works for largemouth bass, chain pickerel and tiger musky. Another method that's productive for largemouth bass is using rubber worms or flipping jigs along the weed edges or in the holes in the weed beds. If targeting tiger musky or chain pickerel, don't forget to use a wire leader as both have sharp teeth.

Fisheries Management

Madison Reservoir is stocked yearly by the NYSDEC with approximately 780 tiger musky. The Lake Moraine Association has started an experimental walleye fingerling stocking in the reservoir in an attempt to reduce the number of panfish. With fewer panfish the number of aquatic invertebrates that feed on Eurasian watermilfoil should increase in the reservoir thus helping to control the watermilfoil naturally.


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