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Otter Lake

Otter Lake is a small, shallow, weedy lake located in Cayuga County near the Hamlet of Meridian.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 400 feet
Area: 277 acres
Shoreline Length: 3.6 miles
Length: 1.5 miles
Maximum Depth: 14 feet
Town: Cato

Aquatic Plant Life:

Very abundant rooted aquatic vegetation throughout the lake.


Public Fee access boat launch at Leisure Acres Trailer Park located on Bonta Bridge Road. For more information on the launch, phone Leisure Acres Trailer Park at (315)-626-6560.

Fish Species:

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


Because the lake is extremely vegetated, using weedless lures is highly recommended for the largemouth bass and northern pike.


Statewide fishing regulations apply.

Fisheries Management:

Otter Lake is not currently stocked; it was stocked with walleye fry until 2014.

Fisheries Survey:

A fisheries survey of Otter Lake (Cayuga County) was conducted in mid-October 2014. The survey was conducted to assess the results of the five year 50-day walleye fingerling stocking program. This was a continuation of surveys done in prior years. Walleye stocking had been ongoing nearly continuously since the mid-1980's by both the DEC and the Weedsport Rod and Gun Club.

The target of the survey was 50-day stocked walleye from 2014, with any older walleye being netted as well. The entire navigable perimeter of the lake was sampled and encompassed just over two hours of boat electrofishing "on" time. No young-of-year walleye were collected, and only two older fish were observed and netted. The two older fish were both five years old and 20 and 21 inches respectively. Other species observed included numerous sunfish (pumpkinseed and bluegill), black crappie, largemouth bass, and brown bullhead.

Despite some local reports of anglers catching walleye, repeated DEC sampling has yielded very limited results indicating poor recruitment of walleye to the Otter Lake fishery. The healthy population of largemouth bass in Otter Lake likely creates predation pressure that inhibits the establishment of a walleye fishery. Therefore, in the interest of responsible management of the limited number of walleye available to stock into the waters of New York, the 50-day walleye stocking program for Otter Lake should be discontinued.

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