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Green Lake (Green Lake State Park)

Green Lake, located in Onondaga County near the Village of Fayetteville, is part of Green Lakes State Park (leaves DEC website). Green Lake is a very interesting and unusual lake as it's a meromictic lake, meaning it has no seasonal lake mixing. Because of this, it's one of the most studied lakes in the world.

Most lakes in Central New York are dimictic and have complete lake mixing occurring in the fall and spring. Green Lake, however, has a well-developed chemocline, a chemically controlled density boundary that is found in around 60-65 feet of water. There is lake mixing occurring above the chemocline but none below it. Because of this, the bottom waters at depths greater than 60-65 feet are devoid of oxygen (anoxic). Without oxygen, there is no decomposition taking place in the deeper water so sediment and organic material on the lake bottom is well-preserved. These sediment layers are virtual timelines and should be beneficial in the study of climate change.

Green Lake is also unusual in that its green color is a result of high levels of calcium carbonate and not phytoplankton or algae that often give lakes a green appearance when their populations are high. Calcium carbonate reflects the green wavelength, thus giving Green Lake its distinctive green color.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 500 feet
Area: 65 acres
Shoreline Length: 1.8 miles
Length: 0.7 miles
Maximum Depth: 195 feet
Town: Manlius

Aquatic Plant Life:

Very few rooted aquatic plants in the lake due to the steep sides of the lake.


Green Lakes State Park. Shore access and row boat rental. No private boats allowed. For more information, contact Green Lakes State Park at (315) 637-6111 or click on their link under links leaving DEC's website in the right hand column.

Fishing access site with fishing platform and accessible parking.

Fish Species:

Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, and rock bass.


Because of the anoxic (no oxygen) conditions at and below the chemocline, all fish in the lake are in the upper 60 feet of water. Rainbow trout are usually caught in early spring shortly after they're stocked.


Statewide Fishing Regulations Apply.

Fisheries Management:

Green Lake is stocked annually by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery (leaves DEC website), an Onondaga County Hatchery, with approximately 4,000 one year-old (9-10") rainbow trout.