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Lake Moraine (Madison Reservoir)

Lake Moraine, also known as Madison Reservoir, is a highly developed water body located in Madison County near the villages of Madison and Hamilton. It is one of the numerous area reservoirs that was built to supply water to the Erie Canal.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1300 feet
Area: 251 acres
Shoreline Length: 7.2 miles
Length: 1.62 miles
Maximum Depth: 45 feet
County & Town: Madison County, Town of Madison

Aquatic Plant Life:

Traditionally Lake Moraine has had significant rooted aquatic vegetation growth around much of the lake. These heavily weeded areas include: Snake Island, the large bay on the west side and the portion of the reservoir found north of the causeway. In an effort to reduce the amount of the exotic invasive plant, Eurasian watermilfoil, the reservoir was chemically treated in 1996, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2014 and 2017. There are a variety of native aquatic plants now growing in the reservoir along with the remaining watermilfoil.


On County Route 87 (East Lake Road), 3 miles south of Madison. Concrete ramp. Parking for 13 cars and trailers.

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

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, tiger musky, walleye, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, brown bullhead, golden shiner, white sucker and creek chubsucker.


The reservoir is well known for producing large chain pickerel, up to 24 inches. Though tiger musky are stocked in Lake Moraine, they are infrequently encountered. Largemouth bass are the main gamefish and fish in the 12 to 14-inch range are common, with fish in the 20-inch range caught each year. Panfish, like yellow perch, are abundant but tend to be on the small side. Bullhead fishing can be very good in the early spring. Walleye are becoming more abundant in the lake and should provide some good angling opportunities.


Statewide Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Lake Moraine is stocked yearly by the NYSDEC with approximately 780 tiger musky. The Lake Moraine Association has started an experimental walleye fingerling stocking in the reservoir in an attempt to reduce the number of panfish. With fewer panfish the number of aquatic invertebrates that feed on Eurasian watermilfoil should increase in the reservoir thus helping to control the watermilfoil naturally.

Fisheries Survey:

Two fisheries surveys were conducted on Lake Moraine during the summer of 2014. The first was a two-night electrofishing survey in June, and second was a two-day gill and fyke netting survey in July. One of the prime objectives for the surveys was to determine if stocked tiger musky are surviving and recruiting to the fishery. Additionally, we hoped to develop a picture of the overall fish community of the lake.

In total, 1,093 fish were caught, representing 15 species. Pumpkinseed sunfish were the most numerous with 224 caught (20% of catch). The next most numerous species was bluegill (n = 171, 15% of catch), followed by yellow perch (n = 137, 13 % of catch), golden shiner (n = 134, 12% of catch), chain pickerel (n = 132, 12% of catch), and largemouth bass (n = 110, 10% of catch). Thirty-two walleye were also caught (3% of catch).

No tiger musky were captured or observed during the survey, indicating little or no recruitment in recent years. Because of the lack of (or limited) tiger musky recruitment we considered terminating the tiger musky stocking for Lake Moraine. However, after some discussion it was decided to not "throw in the towel" on the tiger stocking. Boat stocking the tiger musky will be tried for several years to see if survival of stocked fish improves.

It does appear, from the number of walleye collected, that the walleye stocking conducted by the Lake Moraine Association is seeing some success. With the apparent walleye survival, the department will consider the feasibility of a walleye stocking program on the lake in the future.

Based on the abundance and other population characteristics of the other species sampled, there appears to be no need to change any sportfish regulations at this time on Lake Moraine.

Read the full 2014 Madison Reservoir Fishing Report (PDF)

Number of fish collected in 2014 by electrofishing, gill net and fyke net on Lake Moraine.
Species Electrofishing Gill Net Fyke Net Sum
Chain Pickerel 124 8 0 132
Golden Shiner 8 126 0 134
White Sucker 4 2 0 6
Creek Chubsucker 2 1 0 3
Yellow Bullhead 4 0 4 8
Brown Bullhead 29 0 4 33
Rock Bass 23 4 0 27
Redbreast Sunfish 2 0 0 2
Pumpkinseed Sunfish 157 9 58 224
Bluegill 115 12 44 171
Smallmouth Bass 6 0 0 6
Largemouth Bass 98 11 1 110
Black Crappie 7 41 20 68
Yellow Perch 72 53 12 137
Walleye 9 23 0 32

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