Honeoye Lake, New York, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Finger Lakes -

Honeoye Lake, one of New York state’s famous Finger Lakes, is located in beautiful Ontario County. Clean and pristine, this minor Finger Lake is the county’s blue jewel, providing residents and visitors with more than 1,700 acres of outdoor activity and water fun.

The lake, whose name is an Iroquois word meaning “where the finger lies,” is the tenth smallest of the eleven Finger Lakes. Though often thought to be formed by shifting ice masses during the Ice Age, the Finger Lakes were actually preglacial stream valleys or small lakes before the Ice Age, molded and carved into their current form by the shifting glaciers. Many years after their formation, the Iroquois Native Americans arrived to the Finger Lakes area, cultivating the land, fishing the waters, and hunting animals for food.

Today, the Finger Lakes are one of New York’s top vacation destinations, pulling in more than $200 million in tourism dollars each year. Honeoye Lake, though comparatively small, welcomes more than its fair share of visitors. Indeed, anglers flock to the lake each year, dreaming of Honeoye’s teems of black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, pickerel, pumpkinseed, rockbass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch. As many will tell you, there’s no bad spot or time to fish on Honeoye: the lake’s fish bite anytime, anywhere. Among those dedicated enough to brave the winter cold, ice fishing is a Honeoye specialty.

The lake’s primary use is water-based recreation, and fishing is only the beginning. During summer months, the reservoir is alive with activity, and Honeoye Lake’s surface is always dotted with canoes, kayaks, speed boats, and the occasional sail boat. If you plan to boat, both the Honeoye Lake Public Boat Launch and Sandy Bottom Beach recreation area offer public boat launches. Both are maintained during winter, as well, providing lake access to ice fishers.

Begin your Honeoye Lake vacation at Sandy Bottom Beach, where you can launch your boat, lunch in the picnic pavilion, play baseball at the recreation area’s baseball diamond, and amuse the kids at the playground. Dip your toes into Honeoye’s inviting waters, which, with a maximum depth of just 30 feet, are the warmest of all Finger Lake waters. If swimming doesn’t appeal, simply relax and enjoy the sun along the lifeguarded, sandy beach.

If lounging lakeside is a good way to spend the day, then boating along Honeoye Lake can only be called the lake’s most beautiful experience. Taking a boat out onto Honeoye is the best way to discover hidden treasures along the lake’s almost 11-mile shoreline, which welcomes bathing birds, shy wildlife, and an incredible wealth of second-growth forest. So when it’s finally time to hit the water, launch your boat, head out into the great aquatic wilderness, and ready yourself for scenery that will both amazing and relax you.

As summer fades to fall, and later winter, you’ll find that Honeoye is one of those unique lakes that merely shifts focus, offering year round recreational opportunities. Thanks to its northern location and altitude, Honeoye is home to a spectacular autumn leaf spectacle. Each year, the lake’s shores blaze with red, orange, and yellow leaves, whose beauty is only rivaled by their own reflections along the lake’s crystalline waters. In winter, colorful leaves fade into pure white snow, the perfect canvass for snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and, of course, a good, old-fashioned snowball fight.

No matter what the season, there is one area attraction worth a day trip from Honeoye Lake. Letchworth State Park, located just 35 miles from your freshwater paradise, is one of New York’s most incredible displays of gushing water, carved-out rock, and emerald-green scenery, offering miles of walking trails for visitors’ enjoyment. Three major waterfalls, one the largest in the state, are enough to take your breath away, and their protective Portage Canyon, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” will do the same. Postcard-perfect scenery awaits, so a trip here is truly a must.

Only Honeoye Lake’s acreage is small, as the New York reservoir is big on year round fun, fishing, and water sports. Vacationing here is the ideal mix of relaxation and active fun, offering a quiet Finger Lake escape, convenient to all activities. After just one vacation, you’ll know why so many call Honeoye their favorite Finger Lake.

Things to do at Honeoye Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Honeoye Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Honeoye Lake Photo Gallery

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Honeoye Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Surface Area: 1,772 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 804 feet

Average Depth: 15 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Water Volume: 29,154 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 0.8 years

Drainage Area: 37 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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