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Cazenovia Lake

Cazenovia Lake is a medium sized heavily developed water body located in Madison County in the Village of Cazenovia.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1200 feet
Area: 1164 acres
Shoreline Length: 9.5 miles
Length: 3.9 miles
Maximum Depth: 45 feet
Mean Depth: 22.6 feet
County & Town: Madison County, Town of Cazenovia

Aquatic Plant Life:

This lake traditionally has had significant rooted aquatic vegetation along the shoreline, out to about 15 feet of water, with extensive weed growth in the north and south ends of the lake. Most of this vegetation consisted of the exotic invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. The lake was chemically treated in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 in an effort to reduce the amount of watermilfoil. With the milfoil reduction native vegetation should begin to increase in the lake.


McNitt State Park off East Lake Road. Hand launch and carry down. Approximately a 75 yard carry to water. Parking for 10 cars. Park hours are from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Route 20 Department of Transportation Parking area. Hand launch.

Lakeside Park. Fee launch with seasonal operation. Please call the Village of Cazenovia at 315-655-3041, or visit their web site for more information on the rules, hours and dates of operation for the launch.

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

Fish Species:

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


Largemouth bass and chain pickerel are the main gamefish in the lake. Largemouth bass in the 15-inch range are plentiful with some 20-inch fish caught each year. Legal length chain pickerel are also common. There is a sunken Island (or hump) about halfway up on the east side that's a good location for bass. The north end of Cazenovia Lake is a very popular ice fishing location for black crappie and bluegill. Bluegill and crappie can be caught during day, but anglers specifically targeting crappie often fish after dark. Just remember the McNitt State Park closes at 9:00 PM. Yellow perch are also found in the lake but are more elusive then the bluegills or crappies, but when found they are often nice sized and run in the 10 to 12-inch range. Rock bass are often overlooked by anglers but are plentiful and grow large in the lake.


Special Fishing Regulations Apply. Just a reminder that there is a new special regulation on Sunfish in Cazenovia Lake: Daily possession limit is 15 fish; with a 8-inch minimum size limit.

Fisheries Management:

DEC began to actively manage Cazenovia Lake in 2012 due to improvements in access to the lake. Two surveys were done in 2012: an electrofishing survey in May and a gill net survey in July. One of the prime objectives for the surveys was to address the issue of restarting a DEC walleye stocking program in the lake, which last occurred in 1977. Additionally, another objective was to develop a picture of the overall fish community of the lake. In total 1,281 fish were caught, representing 17 species. Largemouth bass were the most numerous with 484 caught, 38% of catch, followed by 190 yellow perch, 155 bluegill, 151 pumpkinseed sunfish, 52 walleye, and 50 smallmouth bass. The number of walleye caught during the gill netting survey was surprising, as Cazenovia Lake has not been legally stocked with walleye since 1989. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) ranged from zero to 18 fish/net with a mean of 6.25 fish/net. The bulk of the catch was comprised of two year old walleye in the 290-329 mm range (70% of catch).

Recommendations coming from the 2012 surveys was to conduct additional sampling to determine if walleye are naturally reproducing or not. A fall 2013 walleye electrofishing survey caught only a single walleye 17.6 inches long that was 4 years old. In May of 2014, a walleye fry trawling survey was conducted to determine if walleye were naturally reproducing. No walleye fry were captured during this survey.

Given the results of the 2013 and 2014 surveys, the Department recommended stocking Cazenovia Lake with walleye for five years beginning in 2015. On June 23, 2015 Cazenovia Lake was stocked with 23,280 50-day walleye fry (1.5"). No walleye stocking occurred in 2016 because of a shortage of walleye fry within the hatchery system. Stocking resumed in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with approximately 22,000 walleye fry stocked each year.

Read the full 2012 report (PDF)

Number of fish collected in 2012 during electrofishing and gill netting surveys on Cazenovia Lake
Species Scientific name Electrofishing Gill netting Sum Sum Percent
Chain Pickerel Esox niger 18 6 24 2%
Golden Shiner Notemignus crysoleucas 5 0 5 0%
Spottail Shiner Notropis hudsnius 4 0 4 0%
Spotfin Shiner Notrpois spilopterus 13 0 13 1%
White Sucker Catostomus commersoni 6 13 19 1%
Yellow Bullhead Ameirus natalis 2 2 4 0%
Brown Bullhead Ameirus nebulosis 6 2 8 1%
Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanus 11 0 11 1%
Rock Bass Ambloplities rupestris 23 21 44 3%
Pumkinseed Lepomis gibbosus 89 62 151 12%
Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus 92 63 155 12%
Smallmouth Bass Micrpterus dolomieui 39 11 50 4%
Largemouth Bass Micrpterus salmoides 415 69 484 38%
Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus 1 62 63 5%
Tessellated Darter Etheostoma olmstedi 4 0 4 0%
Yellow Perch Perco flavescens 52 138 190 15%
Walleye Sander vitreum 2 50 52 4%

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