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About Seneca Lake

By Carmelo "Mel" Russo

Seneca Lake is the deepest of the Finger Lakes. Moreover, it is exceedingly deep throughout most of its expanse. The depth goes beyond the 400 foot mark in many locations. In addition, there is more than 500 feet of sediment below the deepest mark (700 feet), which puts the original bottom more than 1200 feet below the present surface (10.000+ years ago).

Reports that the bottom of Seneca Lake has never been found are not valid. Furthermore, there is no evidence of the alleged undergroun4 passageways that supposedly allow drowning victims of Seneca to mysteriously appear in Cayuga Lake.

Seneca Lake bas nearly double the volume of water found in Cayuga Lake, even though both have approximately the same surface area. Because of this dilution factor and the lack of significant urban populations around its shores, the water quality of Seneca Lake is among the best in the world.

Seneca Lake is a famous, productive nursery for lake trout and has significant tributaries for rainbow trout and other salmonoids. These species reflect the high quality water found in this lake. Furthermore, the yellow perch and smallmouth bass occur commonly in Seneca Lake.

Besides a good spectrum of commonly known fish, Seneca Lake has its own subspecies of whitefish known as the "Seneca Lake Cisco." This is the technical equivalent of a distinctive "race" of the Great Lakes Cisco living in Seneca Lake. This is the result of many thousands of years of isolation from the main, continuous population of the whitefish in the Great Lakes.

Another interesting tidbit is that the New York Smelt has recently been introduced to the lake, probably by mistake. Formerly, smelt were considered native to Cayuga Lake but were not found in Seneca Lake until the 1970.

For some of the greatest sailing, swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing or whatever water activity, you can't beat the clean, open waters of Seneca Lake.