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Owasco Lake is the sixth largest Finger Lake. It is 10 miles long, located in Cayuga County and covers an area of almost 6600 acres. Owasco Lake is located in Central New York State. It is one of eleven lakes known as the Finger Lakes. Owasco Lake is used as a drinking water supply. There is recreational, residential, agricultural and commercial development around the lake. The area provides a valuable habitat for wildlife.
The name Owasco is derived from the Indian word Wasco, which means "outlet" or "floating bridge". A second derivation of the name is from the Indian word Osco that means, "crossing place". The earliest inhabitants of the region were the mound builders, or Alleghans, who preceded the Iroquois Confederacy. The Alleghans built their large fortress of Osco on the present site of Fort Hill cemetery in the City of Auburn. They built an earthen altar for the worship of the sun within the walls of the fortress and mounds for the burial of their dead outside the walls. The Alleghans were driven from the region during the thirteenth century by the Cayugas. Wasco was located at the junction of two Iroquois Indian trails, just as Auburn is located at the junction of Routes 5 and 20 today.
The Erie Canal, about ten miles north of Auburn, was completed in 1825. A canal was planned to link Auburn with the Erie Canal, and a dam was built across the outlet in 1835 as a first step in the construction of a canal. The canal was never built; however, the Syracuse and Auburn Railroad was built in 1838, and Auburn was linked by railroad to Rochester in 1841. In 1869, rail was laid from Fair Haven on Lake Ontario to Sayre, Pennsylvania, along the west shore of Owasco Lake. The line eventually became part of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
Are they permitted? Yes
Can you swim in the lake? Yes
Are they permitted? Yes
Are they permitted? Yes
Both Syracuse and Rochester have good sized airports. Ithaca also has an airport. Ithaca is around 1/2 hour
Building restrictions and requirements:
There are 6 towns around Owasco Lake and each town has its own zoning laws but they are pretty easy to deal with. They understand the tax base the lake houses give them.
Although the shore line can be the enemy to a speeding boater, it is the home of warm water species. When you get inside the buoys crank baits, spinners and jigs are the tools of the day. It is not unusual to limit out on northern pike, and smallmouth bass and newly introduced walleye pike in sections of the lake. The local anglers association introduced walleye pike. As you move south and find the fifty foot depth it is time to consider trout fishing. From this point south the lake drops off to its deepest spot of 170 feet across from Conklin Cove. This deepest part of the lake is about 1 1/2 miles long.
The principal species of cold water fish are lake, brown and rainbow trout. Smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and panfish have a healthy population also. Both the south and north ends of the lake because of the rocky structure hold smallmouth bass, panfish, northern and walleye pike. You can fish for trout all year, even through the ice but the prime trout season is during May and June. During hard water angling season people direct their energies to catching trout, panfish, and smallmouth bass.
At the south end of the lake you'll find Owasco Creek and on the northeast part of the lake is Dutch Hollow Creek. Both creeks carry a spring run- off drawing bait fish followed by the predators. Most trout are caught while trolling but if you are a still fisherman then use sawbellies to entice the trout to bite. During the summer months you'll find the hard core trout anglers trolling along the thermocline in 10 to 20 feet of water and the shore fisherman casting, using sawbellies as bait. The trout meet the net in the spring as anglers flat line 50 to 75 feet behind boat. For the trout angler in winter fishing from shore, drifting egg sacs is the productive presentation.
Jigs and crank baits will put smallmouth bass in your live well. For the anchored angler proven bronze back catchers are red worms, crawdad and minnows. If you decide to direct your energies to northern pike and largemouth bass angling, then work the weeds and wood stickups casting bass taking lures. When anchored off the weedline productive live bait pike catchers use sucker chubs. Lures like crank baits, spinners and rattletraps bring fish to the net. For the walleye angler, slow trolling a worm rig and spinners bring the fish to the net. At the south end of the lake you have the Town of Moravia where Fillmore Glen State Park is located and at the north end in the Town of Auburn is where will find Melrose Park.
There is a launch site in the town of Auburn at the north end of the lake in Emerson Park. As you enter the lake you will notice the line of buoys along each shore from one end of the lake to the other. These markers are for the benefit of the boaters. The shoreline is rocky and levels off around seven to ten feet. Beneath the surface are numerous rock islands that will do damage to the lower housing of your motor.
315-497-3006, 2810 Fire Lane 1, Scipio Center, NY 13147
Complete Boat Works Inc
315-252-2833, 2760 Sand Beach Rd, Auburn, NY 13021-5649
Boat Repairing, Boat Dockage & Storage
Trade-A-Yacht Marina Inc
315-258-9096, 147 Pulsifer Dr, Auburn, NY 13021-5430
315-685-5095, 1938 W Lake Rd, Skaneateles, NY 13152-9675
315-784-5019, Sam Adams Ln, Auburn, NY 13021
Fillmore Glen State Park
1686 St. Rte. 38, Moravia, NY 13118, Phone: (315) 497-0130
Fillmore Glen State Park is an oasis of cool, dense woods crowding into a long, narrow gorge. Its hiking trails offer spectacular views, unique geological formations, including five waterfalls, and a botanically rich glen. The park has 60 campsites, a stream-fed swimming pool and fishing in the Owasco Lake inlet. In winter, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are permitted on unplowed roads. Directions: Route 38, 1 mile south of Moravia. South of Owasco Lake. Seasons/Hours: The campground is open mid-May to mid-October. The gorge trails are closed in winter. Deer hunting is permitted in season. Pets: Household pets only; caged or on a leash not more than 6 feet. Proof of rabies inoculation. Not allowed in bathing areas.
Local Area Businesses
Dutch Hollow Country Club
315-784-5052, Benson Rd, Auburn, NY 13021
Auburn Golf & Country Club
315-253-0359, E Lake Rd, Auburn, NY 13021
Owasco Country Club
315-252-3580, E Lake Rd, Auburn, NY 13021
Finger Lakes Scuba
315-252-8683, 11 Dill St, Auburn, NY 13021-3605
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