FAQs

How big is Canandaigua Lake?CLWA Watershed Map Infographic

Canandaigua Lake, the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes, is 15.5 miles long, 1.1 mile wide and 276 feet deep at its deepest. There are 35.9 miles of shoreline but only 1.2 miles is public access (3%). The remaining 97% is privately owned.

Go to: Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council for an amazing amount of statistical and scientific information regarding Canandaigua Lake and its watershed.

How many people live in the watershed of Canandaigua Lake?

Approximately 21,000.

Is the lake a source of drinking water?

Yes, approximately 70,000 people use the lake as their source of drinking water. Several communities outside of the watershed also get their water supply from Canandaigua Lake, including Bloomfield, Palmyra, Farmington, Newark, and Shortsville.

What kind of shape is the lake in?

So far the lake is in excellent health. However, it takes many hardworking agencies and organizations to keep it that way. Ultimately, the shape of the lake depends on ordinary citizens like us.

See how you can help by reading Ten Ways You Can Help the Lake.

Does Canandaigua Lake have a problem with acid rain like the lakes in the Adirondacks?

No, fortunately the bedrock in this area is limestone or calcium carbonate which buffers the acid rain in exactly the same way as Tums buffers stomach acid.

What is that foamy, sudsy looking stuff you sometimes see floating on top? Can it make you sick?

That sudsy foam is a naturally occurring process well known on all large water bodies and is not harmful to your health. Although the exact cause is not fully known, it’s thought to result from the breakdown of dead zebra mussels. Researchers from the NYSDEC and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry are further studying the phenomenon.

Who is responsible for keeping the lake clean?

There are many organizations and agencies working together to keep the lake and watershed in a healthy state.

What kind of fish live in this lake?

Canandaigua Lake supports both cold and warm water fish.

Large and smallmouth bass and yellow perch are the most popular species for anglers, but they also enjoy fishing for lake trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout, the only trout native to Canandaigua Lake. Both lake and brown trout are stocked annually by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Canandaigua Lake also has sunfish, bullheads and chain pickerel.