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DeRuyter Reservoir

DeRuyter Reservoir is slowly filling back up after it was lowered around 10 feet last fall for dam repair work to be done. It is still way below normal and construction continues to restrict access at the dam and launching a boat is still not possible. How long before it fills back up is unknown as it's dependent on rain events, etc. but not likely till late-summer or early-fall.

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: 1300 feet
Area: 557 acres
Shoreline Length: 6.2 miles
Length: 1.8 miles
Maximum Depth: 55 feet
Town: DeRuyter, Fabius, Cazenovia

Aquatic Plant Life:

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


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 a search engine.

Fish Species:

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


Walleye can often be tricky to locate and catch in the lake. Trolling can help to cover water when looking for walleye. For information on this technique please view Fishing for Walleye. Largemouth bass are abundant with fish in the 14 to 15-inch range being very abundant. 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, see below.

Fisheries Survey:

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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