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Owasco Lake

Owasco Lake is located in Cayuga County on the south edge of the city of Auburn. Compared to the other Finger Lakes, Owasco Lake is an intermediate sized lake. Owasco Lake has a large drainage basin to surface ratio, this accounts for the high nutrient loading of Owasco Lake.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 712 feet
Area: 6,665 acres
Shoreline Length: 27 miles
Length: 11.1 miles
Maximum Width: 1.3 miles
Maximum Depth: 177 feet
Mean Depth: 97 feet
Thermocline: about 35 feet
County & Town: Cayuga County, Towns of Fleming, Moravia, Niles, Owasco, Scipio and Venice

Aquatic Plant Life:

The south end of the lake supports good weed growth.


Emerson Park - Off Rte. 38 (Boat and Shore), private boat launch is also available on south end.

For more information on this launch including Google Maps driving directions, visit the Boat Launch Sites for Cayuga County page.

Owasco Inlet PFR Brochure (PDF)

DECinfo Locator for PFR and parking areas (Decinfo Locator is best viewed on a desktop computer).

Fishing Map User Guide ("How to" instructions for using the fishing map on Decinfo Locator.)

Fish Species:

Lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, pumpkinseed, bluegills, rock bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, common carp, white sucker, longnose sucker, golden shiner, rainbow smelt, and alewives.


South end is noted for good panfishing, northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing. Lake trout fishing is excellent year around, but particularly during May, June and September. Owasco Lake is a good ice fishing location for trout, panfish and northern pike. Ice fishing for lake trout can be exceptional on years when safe ice forms around Ensenore Point.

For current fishing information a fishing hotline is available at Central New York Fishing Hotline or by calling (607) 753-1551.


Finger Lakes and Tributary Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Owasco Lake is stocked annually with approximately 10,500 lake trout, 5,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout. Owasco Inlet is stocked with 20,000 rainbow trout. Walleye were stocked into the lake from 1996 - 2006; walleye stocking was stopped due to a decline in the rainbow and brown trout fishery.

An ongoing angler diary cooperator program for gamefish provides DEC fisheries staff with useful data on population trends. We are always looking for new cooperators, so if you are interested please contact the Region 7 office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213 or online at

Owasco Lake Contour Map (PDF)

Wildlife Management:

The primary purposes of Owasco Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, water quality improvement, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is located south of Owasco Lake and just north of the village of Moravia. It covers 54 acres over three separate parcels, one sandwiched between West Cayuga Street and the Owasco Inlet, and the other two parcels off Rockefeller Road/County Route 61A.

Watershed Management:

Nutrients, pathogens and other pollutants from various sources throughout the watershed that impact recreational uses in Owasco Lake are being addressed through Owasco Lake Watershed Management efforts.