Cayuga Lake is the second largest Finger Lake behind Seneca Lake. It is the longest and second deepest of the eleven Finger Lakes. Due to its large size and significant depth, it takes water that draining into the lake over 10 years to cycle through the lake. Cayuga Lake also has the largest watershed covering 785 square miles. The watershed includes 6 counties and 44 municipalities and is home to over 120,000 people.
Cayuga Lake Physical Features
Elevation: 381 feet
Area: 67.1 square miles
Shoreline Length: 106 miles
Length: 38 miles
Maximum Width: 3.5 miles
Maximum Depth: 435 feet
Mean Depth: 181 feet
Towns adjacent to the Lake: Towns of Aurelius, Genoa, Ledyard, and Springport in Cayuga County. Towns of Ithaca, Lansing, and Ulysses in Tompkins County. Towns of Covert, Fayette, Ovid, Romulus, Seneca Falls and Varick in Seneca County.
Cities/Villages adjacent to the Lake: Villages of Aurora, Cayuga and Union Springs in Cayuga County. City of Ithaca in Tompkins County.
Cayuga Lake Watershed Features
Area: 785 square miles
Counties: Cayuga, Tompkins, Seneca, Cortland, Schuyler and Tioga Counties.
Towns within the watershed: Towns of Aurelius, Fleming, Genoa, Ledyard, Locke, Scipio, Sempronius, Springport, Summerhill and Venice in Cayuga County. Towns of Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Enfield, Groton, Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield and Ulysses in Tompkins County. Towns of Covert, Fayette, Lodi, Ovid, Romulus, Seneca Falls and Varick in Seneca County. Towns of Cortlandville, Harford, Homer, Scott and Virgil in Cortland County. Town of Catharine and Hector in Schuyler County. Town of Spencer in Tioga County.
Cities/Villages within the watershed: Villages of Aurora, Cayuga and Union Springs in Cayuga County. City of Ithaca and Villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Freeville, Lansing and Trumansburg in Tompkins County. Village of Interlaken in Seneca County.
Cayuga Lake Initiatives
The Cayuga Lake Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan was updated in 2017.
Also, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan is being developed for Cayuga Lake.
Groups involved with protecting Cayuga Lake
Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management Cayuga Lake Fact Card
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List: Cayuga Lake-Yawgers Creek Watershed
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List: Cayuga Lake-Salmon Creek
Water Quality North End Cayuga Lake 1991-2006, Makarewicz et al 2007