Department of Environmental Conservation

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Upper and Lower Lelands Ponds

Upper and Lower Leland Ponds are 46 and 55 acre eutrophic lakes located in the Town of Eaton, Madison County. Both ponds are glacial kettle holes but their size and depth was increased by the construction of a 15-foot high dam at the outlet of Lower Leland during the 1830's for the purpose of supplying water to the Chenango and Erie Canals.

Physical Features:

Upper Lelands
Elevation: 1200 feet
Area: 46 acres
Shoreline Length: 1.2 miles
Length: 0.45 miles
Maximum Depth: 50 feet
Town: Eaton

Lower Lelands
Elevation: 1200 feet
Area: 55 acres
Shoreline Length: 2.2 miles
Length: 0.5 miles
Maximum Depth: 40 feet
Town: Eaton

Aquatic Plant Life:

Both ponds have significant rooted aquatic vegetation growth around much of them out to about 15 feet of water.

Access:

Upper Leland Pond - On Route 26, approximately one mile southwest of the hamlet of Bouckville. Concrete launch ramp. Parking for 10 cars and trailers. Universally accessible fishing pier.
Lower Leland Pond - Undeveloped hand launch, across from Upper Lelands parking area.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, tiger musky, brown trout, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, common carp, golden shiner, creek chubsucker, and alewife.

Fishing:

Upper and Lower Lelands Ponds are connected by a channel that runs through a culvert under the highway. This culvert is too small for boat passage, but it does allow fish movement between the ponds. Upper Lelands offers a cold water fishery for brown trout along with warm water gamefish such as largemouth bass. Lower Lelands is shallower and weedier and offers a better opportunity for largemouth bass. Largemouth bass in the 12 to 15-inch range are regularly caught, with some 20-inch fish caught each year. Panfish are abundant but fish in the 8-inch and larger size are uncommon. Though tiger musky are stocked, they are infrequently encountered. Alewife are one of the main prey species in both ponds.

Regulations:

Special fishing regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website).

Fisheries Management:

Upper Lelands Pond is stocked annually with approximately 1,360 yearling brown trout. Lower Lelands Pond receives approximately 155 tiger musky annually.

Fisheries Survey:

Upper and Lower Lelands Ponds were electrofished in June and gill and fyke netted in July, 2015. Overall, 545 fish were caught, representing 18 species. Yellow perch were the most numerous with 162 caught (30% of catch). The next most numerous species was alewives (n=81, 15% of catch), followed by largemouth bass (n= 72, 13% of catch), rock bass (n=41, 8% of catch), and pumpkinseed sunfish (n=37, 7% of catch). Other gamefish caught were chain pickerel (n=30, 6% of catch), smallmouth bass (n=2, 0.4% of catch) and one brown trout (0.2% of catch). No tiger musky were caught or observed during the survey.

The number of individual species caught did vary between the Upper and Lower Ponds. Most noticeable were: alewives (n=75 Upper, n=4 Lower), creek chubsucker ( n=3 Upper, n=16 Lower), rock bass (n=31 Upper, n=10 Lower), and largemouth bass (n=49 Upper, n=23 Lower).

Read the full 2015 report (PDF)(386 KB)

Number of fish collected in 2015 on both Upper and Lower Lelands Ponds.
Species Upper Lelands Pond Lower Lelands Pond Sum
Alewife 75 6 81
Brown Trout 1 0 1
Chain Pickerel 19 11 30
Common Carp 0 3 3
Golden Shiner 14 5 19
Spottail Shiner 1 0 1
White Sucker 17 1 18
Creek Chubsucker 3 16 19
Yellow Bullhead 0 1 1
Brown Bullhead 1 4 5
Rock Bass 31 10 41
Redbreast Sunfish 15 20 35
Pumkinseed Sunfish 22 15 37
Smallmouth Bass 2 0 2
Largemouth Bass 49 23 72
Yellow Perch 82 80 162