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Cross Lake (Cayuga and Onondaga)

Cross Lake is located on the border of Cayuga and Onondaga counties between the Villages of Jordan and Meridian. Cross Lake is basically a widening of the Seneca River as the river flows through the lower third of the lake.

Physical Features

Elevation: 400 feet
Area: 1,947 acres
Length: 4.5 miles
Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Plant Life

Abundant rooted aquatic vegetation in the northern part of the lake and scattered areas of vegetation in the remainder of the lake

Public Access Sites

DEC launch on Seneca River. On Bonita Bridge Road, 2 miles east of the Village of Weedsport. Hand launch. 10 cars and trailers. Approximately 3 miles downstream to Cross Lake.

Fee access boat launches can be found at:

Cross Lake Campground, off Dugar Road, Cato. For more information contact Cross lake Campground at 315-678-2143 or click on their web site link in the right hand column under links leaving DEC's website.

Cross Lake Marina and Inn, on Fire Lane 18, Cato. For more information contact Cross Lake Marina and Inn at 315-626-6718 or click on their web site link in the right hand column under links leaving DEC's website.

Quimby's Marina, located a half mile west on the Seneca River at 6810 River Road, Jordan. For more information contact Quimby's Marina at 315-689-9164.

General Fishing Information

Walleye, tiger musky, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass are the main gamefish found in the lake. Black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, white perch, channel catfish, brown bullhead and common carp can also be found in the lake. However, with the Seneca River flowing through the lake, you never know what fish species you may encounter on your next cast. The Seneca River also brings with it high nutrient and sediment loading which causes the lake to often be turbid and contributes to low dissolved oxygen levels in the deeper depths during the warm summer months. Dissolved oxygen levels and other water quality parameters can be viewed by clicking on Cross Lake Water Quality in the right hand column under links leaving DEC's website.

Cross Lake is probably best known for producing some large northern pike with fish in the 15 pound range being taken most years. If targeting pike or tiger musky, try using large minnows, stickbaits or spinnerbaits; don't forget to use a wire leader for these toothy fish. White perch are abundant in the lake and are often an over looked panfish. They can grow to about 12" in Cross Lake and are good table fare. The most consistent walleye action is found in the Seneca River where it enters Cross Lake and also downstream from the lake in the area called Jack's Reef. A canal was created in this area to bypass a large bend in the river; this canal is a good location for walleye. Common carp and channel catfish are abundant and grow large in the lake. Try using corn or doughballs for the carp and cut-bait for the catfish. White perch, yellow perch and gizzard shad are the main prey fish found in the lake. Using artificial baits in blue & silver, black & silver or firetiger will help imitate these prey fish.

Fisheries Management

Cross Lake is stocked annually with approximately 33,500 walleye fingerlings and 7,200 tiger musky. Special regulations exist, so please review the Special Regulations by County section of your fishing guide.