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Tuscarora Lake

Tuscarora Lake, also known as Erieville Reservoir, is located in the Town of Nelson, Madison County. Like the other area reservoirs, it was built to provide water for the Erie Canal. Tuscarora Lake is a popular ice fishing location with the lake association hosting a large derby every winter which helps to support their walleye stocking program.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1,600 feet
Area: 308 acres
Shoreline Length: 4.7 miles
Length: 1.3 miles
Maximum Depth: 40 feet
Town: Nelson

Aquatic Plant Life:

Rooted aquatic vegetation can be found around the shore of most of the lake out to about 15 feet of water.


Though there are no formal access sites, anglers access the reservoir at two informal parking spots. These two sites are located on Tuscarora Road on the south end of the reservoir, and provide access for shore fishing. Both locations are bordered by private property and have limited parking. Anglers and lake visitors should respect all landowner's rights and obey all no parking and no trespassing signs when accessing the lake from these locations.

Please view Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species for information on how you can help keep our waters free of aquatic hitchhikers.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, chain pickerel, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, white sucker, and brown bullhead.


Tuscarora Lake has a variety of habitat from aquatic vegetation to several shoals and humps. As this is often one of the first waters to freeze in the area, it is a popular early season ice fishing location where anglers target yellow perch and walleye. Chain pickerel are abundant, and many are over the legal length of 15-inches. Along with the chain pickerel, rock bass are also abundant and usually willing to bite, so this water generally provides a lot of action during the warm water season. Smallmouth bass are commonly caught, but most are in the 12-14-inch size range.


Statewide Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Tuscarora Lake is stocked annually by the Tuscarora Lake Association with approximately 4,000 walleye fingerlings.

Fisheries Survey 2021

A fisheries survey of Tuscarora Lake in Madison County was conducted in 2021, consisting of two sampling efforts, a nighttime electrofishing sample in May and a gill net sample in October. The survey was conducted to evaluate age, growth, condition, and relative abundance of the reservoir's sportfish community, and to determine if fingerling walleye stocked by the Tuscarora Lake Association (TLA) were recruiting to the fishery. Overall, 458 fish were caught, representing 13 species. Smallmouth bass were the most numerous species with 85 caught (19% of catch) followed by largemouth bass (n=81, 18% of catch). Other gamefish caught were chain pickerel (n=23, 5% of catch), walleye (n=7, 2% of catch), and black crappie (n=11, 2% of catch). Overall, with a few exceptions, by New York standards the sportfish community had average growth rates, were in good condition and found in moderate to high abundance. Though very few walleye were collected it does appear that the walleye stocking is contributing to the fishery. Recommended management actions based on these surveys are to continue with statewide fishing regulations and suggest TLA continue with their walleye stocking if desired.

Read full 2021 report (PDF)