Lake Colby is located just north of the Village of Saranac Lake. The lake's physical features are four bays and four shoreline points. The outlet bay is bisected by railroad tracks, making Little Colby Pond. Little Colby Pond is small and shallow. The lake has a mixed assemblage of public and private lands. There are three primitive campsites on the lake. There is a DEC education camp on the lake, which is not open to the general public. The Village of Saranac Lake has a public beach off of Route 86.
Elevation: 1558 ft
Area: 286 acres
Maximum depth: 46 ft
Mean depth: 23 ft
Length: approximately 1.5 miles
Maximum width: approximately 1 mile
Thermocline: ~ 25 ft
Lake Colby contour map (PDF) (217 KB)
DEC fishing access site has a hand launch off of Route 86.
There is parking for 30 cars. The lake has a 10 hp limit for motors which is strictly enforced.
General Fishing Information:
Game fish species present in the lake are rainbow trout, brown trout, landlocked salmon, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. Panfish species are yellow perch, rock bass, brown bullhead, and pumpkinseed. Trolling christmas tree rigs works great for rainbow trout. Trolling minnow imitations are popular for landlocked salmon and brown trout. Night fishing for trout and salmon has a dedicated following. During the spring and fall, anglers wade off the beach next to the DEC launch and cast for trout and salmon. Ice fishing is permitted. Trout and salmon are usually suspended underneath the ice, so tip-ups fished just underneath the ice with minnows are effective. Bass can be caught all around the lake but especially in the outlet bay and Little Colby pond. Bullhead fishing can be good off the causeway between Lake Colby and Little Colby Pond in the spring. The Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club annually sponsors a kids fishing derby on Father's Day and an ice fishing derby on the first weekend in March.
Lake Colby is managed as a two-story fishery. Yellow perch and golden shiners are the main forage base. The lake is stocked with approximately 2,800 brown trout and 3,200 rainbow trout. Roughly one hundred 21" landlocked salmon brood stock are released in the fall after the Adirondack Fish Hatchery egg take is done. Tagged fish may be present from derby releases.