Department of Environmental Conservation

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Cross Lake (Cayuga and Onondaga)

Cross Lake is located on the border of Cayuga and Onondaga counties between the Villages of Jordan and Meridian. Cross Lake is basically a widening of the Seneca River as the river flows through the lower third of the lake.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 400 feet
Area: 1947 acres
Shoreline Length: 13.2 miles
Length: 4.5 miles
Maximum Depth: 65 feet
Towns: Cato, Elbridge, Lysander

Aquatic Plant Life:

Abundant rooted aquatic vegetation in the northern part of the lake and scattered areas of vegetation in the remainder of the lake.


DEC access site on Seneca River. On Bonta Bridge Road, 2 miles east of the Village of Weedsport. Hand launch. 10 cars. Approximately 3 miles downstream to Cross Lake.

Fee access boat launches can be found at:

Cross Lake Campground, off Dugar Road, Cato. For more information contact Cross Lake Campground at 315-678-2143.

Cross Lake Marina and Inn, on Fire Lane 18, Cato. For more information contact Cross Lake Marina and Inn at 315-626-6718.

Quimby's Marina, located a half mile west on the Seneca River at 6810 River Road, Jordan. For more information contact Quimby's Marina at 315-689-9164.

Fish Species:

Walleye, tiger musky, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, white perch, channel catfish, brown bullhead, common carp, bowfin, longnose gar, white sucker, round goby, and gizzard shad.


With the Seneca River flowing through the lake, you never know what fish species you may encounter on your next cast. The Seneca River also brings with it high nutrient and sediment loading which causes the lake to often be turbid and contributes to low dissolved oxygen levels in the deeper depths during the warm summer months. Dissolved oxygen levels and other water quality parameters can be viewed by clicking on Cross Lake Water Quality in the right hand column under links leaving DEC's website.

Cross Lake is probably best known for producing some large northern pike with fish in the 15 pound range being taken most years. If targeting pike or tiger musky don't forget to use a wire leader for these toothy fish. White perch are abundant in the lake and are often an over looked panfish. They can grow to about 12" in Cross Lake and are good table fare. The most consistent walleye action is found in the Seneca River where it enters Cross Lake and also downstream from the lake in the area called Jack's Reef. A canal was created in this area to bypass a large bend in the river; this canal is a good location for walleye. Common carp and channel catfish are abundant and grow large in the lake. White perch, yellow perch and gizzard shad are the main prey fish found in the lake. Using artificial baits in blue & silver, black & silver or firetiger will help imitate these prey fish.


Special Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Cross Lake is stocked annually with approximately 33,500 walleye fingerlings and 7,200 tiger muskies.