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DeRuyter Reservoir

DeRuyter Reservoir is a highly developed lake located on the border of Madison and Onondaga counties near the Town of DeRuyter. It is one of the numerous area reservoirs that was built to supply water to the Erie Canal.

Physical Features

Elevation: 1,300 feet
Area: 575 acres
Length: 1.8 miles
Maximum Depth: 55 feet

Plant Life

Abundant vegetation on the shallower south end and also along most of the shoreline out to about 12 feet of water.

Public Access Sites

Fee access boat launch at DeRuyter Lake General Store, 37 South Lake Road. For more information on this launch site contact the DeRuyter Lake General Store at 315-852-9678 or view their website which can be found using search engine.

Fish Species

Walleye, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, smallmouth bass, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead.

General Fishing Information

Walleye can often be tricky to locate, but some good starting points would be the 20 foot contour around the island and point in the middle section of the lake. Try deep diving crankbaits, jigs or worm harnesses. Largemouth bass can be found around the vegetation while smallmouth bass are more often caught in the northern deeper portion. With the numerous chain pickerel in the lake, using a wire leader is advised if fishing around vegetation. The reservoir is also a popular ice fishing location for walleye, chain pickerel and panfish.


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

Fisheries Management

DeRuyter Reservoir was stocked annually by the Department with approximately 1.1-2.8 million walleye fry, until 2013. Beginning in 2013 the DeRuyter Reservoir Association began stocking walleye fingerlings, se below.

Fish Survey Report 2013

Fall night electrofishing was conducted along 2.9 miles of the DeRuyter Reservoir shoreline to evaluate the relative success of the 2013 stocking of 50,000 walleye fingerlings. The Reservoir has been historically stocked by the Department with 1.1-2.8 million walleye fry. 2013 was the first year of an experimental walleye fingerling stocking program undertaken by the DeRuyter Reservoir Association (DRA). Walleye are being purchased and stocked by the DRA as a "top-down" aquatic vegetation control method. In theory, walleye will prey on bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, which are known to prey on insect herbivores that graze on the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. With fewer predators, it is theorized, that these grazers will become more numerous, and thus there will be less Eurasain watermilfoil in the lake.

No Young-of-Year (YOY) walleye were found, but 26 older walleye were collected. These walleye ranged from 3 to 11 years old and from 14.2 - 27 inches. Walleye collected were on the thin side with a mean relative weight (Wr) of 82.5±6.1. A normal Wr range is 90-100. As no YOY were collected it would appear that there was limited success with the 2013 walleye stocking.

In addition to the walleye, 15 largemouth bass (2.6-14.7 inches), 5 smallmouth bass (7.1-15.4 inches), and four chain pickerel (16-19.1 inches) were also collected during one of the three electrofishing sampling runs.

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