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Dryden Lake

Dryden Lake is a shallow weedy lake located in Tompkins County near the Village of Dryden.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1,200 feet
Area: 106 acres
Shoreline Length: 2.4 miles
Length: 0.72 miles
Maximum Depth: 12 feet
County & Town: Tompkins County, Town of Dryden

Aquatic Plant Life:

Most of the lake has very significant rooted aquatic vegetation growth.


Off West Lake Road, One mile south of the Village of Dryden. Beach launch. Parking for 15 cars. Electric Motors Only.

There is also shore access around much of the lake along with two fishing platforms that are universally accessible.

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

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie, yellow perch, white sucker, brown bullhead, golden shiner, common shiner, and common carp.


Because of the weed growth, fishing with weed less lures is highly recommended when targeting largemouth bass. This is often one of the first lakes in the area to ice-up, and it offers good early ice fishing for black crappies and bluegills.


Statewide Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Dryden Lake is not stocked.

Fisheries Survey 2014:

Dryden Lake, is a small, shallow lake created by a very old crib dam, and surrounded by a park, extensive wetland, and agricultural land. Despite the thick plant growth, it is popular with local shore anglers and is navigable in a small non-motorized boat. We used our motorized electrofishing vessel to attempt to sample the lake one evening in June, and had moderate success. The plant growth slowed down our attempts at navigation, and made it very difficult for fish to come to the surface to be netted, or even seen. We did catch 24 Largemouth Bass in 45 minutes of sampling effort, which is actually a pretty good catch rate compared to Green's 1986 study of New York bass lakes. Bass captured ranged from yearling to 8 years old. We also caught Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Golden Shiner, Common Shiner, White Sucker, and Brown Bullhead. This lake was not previously surveyed by DEC. Preliminary data analysis indicates that this is a stable, diverse fishery, worthy of maintaining for the local angling community.