otisco Lake

lake facts

 Elevation: 787 feet
Area: 1,877 acres
Water Volume: 21 billion gallons
Length: 5.4 miles
Maximum width: 0.75 miles
Maximum depth: 76 feet


  • A dam was constructed in 1869 to both raise the water level of the lake and provide a storage place for water used in the Erie Canal.
  • Otisco Lake was dammed again in 1908 to raise the water level so it could be used as a water supply for Syracuse. Together, the dams raised the water to a total of 13 feet.
  • The southern end of the lake is divided by a causeway, which was created so wagons carrying supplies could cut across the lake rather than going all the way around it.
  • Because of its shallow depth and warm temperatures, Otisco Lake is ideal for swimming, boating, and warm water fishing.
  • Both NYS and Onondaga County have active fish-stocking programs in Otisco Lake.
  • The shore of Otisco Lake is lined with agriculture, cottages, and year-round residents.