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Green Lake (Clark Reservation State Park)

Green Lake is a small, deep water body located in Clark Reservation State Park near the Town of Dewitt, Onondaga County. Green Lake is often referred to as a glacial plunge pool lake. Plunge pool lakes are usually small (surface area) deep lakes. Its believed that Green Lake was formed by water melting off the top of a glacier, like a giant water fall. The force of this water fall tumbling off the glacier scoured a hole in the limestone creating Green Lake.

Physical Features

Elevation: 1,700 feet
Area: 5 acres
Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Plant Life

Little rooted aquatic vegetation found in the lake.

Public Access Sites

Clark Reservation State Park. To access the lake you must descend 175 feet down a rock staircase. No boats are allowed on the lake. For more information contact Clark Reservation State Park at (315) 492-1590 or click on their link under links leaving DEC's website in the right column.

General Fishing Information

Main gamefish found in the lake are walleye and chain pickerel. Pumpkinseed sunfish can also be caught there. If fishing for the pickerel, try spinnerbaits, spoons or stickbaits. Don't forget to use a wire leader to avoid having these toothy fish cut your line. For the walleye try stickbaits or jigs (bucktail or plastic) tipped with worms.

Fisheries Management

Green Lake is stocked annually with approximately 20,000 walleye fry. Statewide fishing regulations apply.

Fish Survey Report (2009)

In order to determine the fate of a long standing walleye fry stocking policy in Green Lake, located in Clark Reservation State Park, Biologist Dave Lemon worked with NYS Parks Biologist Tom Hughes and SUNY ESF personnel to conduct a survey of the 10 acre pond's fish community. NYSDEC fish sampling was last conducted in 1949 and no information on the success of the walleye fry stocking was known. The long gap in sampling effort was undoubtedly a result of the challenging physical setting of the pond. Green Lake is located in a 165' deep gorge, created by a waterfall within a temporary river channel of the receding glacier. As a result getting canoe and sampling gear down (and back up) the nearly 180 steps to the pond required the assistance of a number of youth who were working in a SUNY ESF summer work program.

Results of the sampling were quite surprising with a total of six walleye captured in three, overnight gillnet sets. Sizes of the walleye ranged from 11.9 to 18.7 inches with four different age classes represented. In addition, seven large chain pickerel (16.9 - 19.6 in.) and eight large pumpkinseed sunfish (over 7.7 in.) were also captured along with numerous medium sized golden shiners and smaller pumpkinseed sunfish. As an added bonus, all the fish were taken by ESF researchers to test for the level of mercury contamination in their tissue. Recent testing of the pond's bottom sediments by ESF Professor Dr. Charles Driscoll revealed elevated mercury levels in the sediments and a nearby county incinerator has been suggested as the possible reason. Tissue analysis of the fish will provide us valuable information on the potential health risk, if any, of eating the ponds fish.

Overall there appears to be good balance of predators and prey in the pond, and the contribution of walleye from our stocking program is almost certainly part of the reason. Continuation of the walleye fry stocking program will be recommended based on the results of this survey.


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    Bureau of Fisheries
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    Cortland, NY 13045
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