Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

DeRuyter Reservoir

DeRuyter Reservoir is a highly developed lake located on the border of Madison and Onondaga counties near the Town of DeRuyter. It is one of the numerous area reservoirs that was built to supply water to the Erie Canal.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1300 feet
Area: 557 acres
Shoreline Length: 6.2 miles
Length: 1.8 miles
Maximum Depth: 55 feet
Town: DeRuyter, Fabius, Cazenovia

Aquatic Plant Life:

Abundant vegetation on the shallower south end and also along most of the shoreline out to about 12 feet of water.


Fee access boat launch at DeRuyter Lake General Store, 37 South Lake Road. For more information on this launch site contact the DeRuyter Lake General Store at 315-852-9678 or view their website which can be found using a search engine.

Fish Species:

Walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead.


Walleye can often be tricky to locate and catch in the lake. Trolling can help to cover water when looking for walleye. For information on this technique please view Fishing for Walleye. Largemouth bass are abundant with fish in the 14 to 15-inch range being very abundant. With the numerous chain pickerel in the lake, using a wire leader is advised if fishing around vegetation. The reservoir is also a popular ice fishing location for walleye, chain pickerel and panfish.


Statewide Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

DeRuyter Reservoir was stocked annually by the Department with approximately 1.1-2.8 million walleye fry, until 2013. Beginning in 2013 the DeRuyter Reservoir Association began stocking walleye fingerlings but stopped in 2019.The Department resumed annual walleye fry stocking in 2021, with a stocking of 1.7 million fry.

Fisheries Survey 2018:

A fisheries survey of DeRuyter Reservoir in Madison County was conducted in 2018, consisting of two sampling efforts, a nighttime electrofishing sample in June and a gill net and fyke net sample in July. 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 Tioughnioga Lake Preservation Foundation, Inc. (TLPF) were recruiting to the fishery. Overall, 1,233 fish were caught, representing 15 species. Pumpkinseed were the most numerous species with 288 caught (23% of catch) followed by bluegill (n=265, 21% of catch). Gamefish caught were largemouth bass (n=175, 14% of catch), walleye (n=38, 3% of catch), smallmouth bass (n=30, 2% of catch) and chain pickerel (n=25, 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. Of the 38 walleye caught 32% were from the TLPF fingerling stocking, the remaining 68% were from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fry stocking. While the TLPF fingerling stockings are represented in the fishery it doesn't appear that they are recruiting to the fishery any better than the fry stocked by the DEC. While a sample size of 38 walleye is relatively small, the results, nonetheless, suggest that stocking DeRuyter Reservoir with the larger fingerlings is not worth the additional expense.

Recommended management actions based on these surveys would be to continue with the special regulation for walleye only if the TLPF decides to continue with their experimental walleye fingerling stocking program. However, if they decide to end that program, DEC should resume fry stocking and go back to the statewide walleye regulation (5/day with a minimum size of 15"). Continue with statewide regulations for all other species.

Read the full 2018 Report (PDF)

  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 607-753-3095.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Region 7
    Bureau of Fisheries
    1285 Fisher Avenue
    Cortland, NY 13045
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 7