Great Sacandaga Lake
|Great Sacandaga Lake|
A view from a nearby overlook
|Location||Adirondack Park, Fulton / Saratoga / Hamilton counties, New York, U.S.|
construction: earth and concrete
date: March 1930
|Primary inflows||Sacandaga River|
|Primary outflows||Sacandaga River|
|Catchment area||1,044 mi2|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Max. length||29 mi (47 km)|
|Max. width||5 mi at its widest point|
|Surface area||41.7 sq mi (108 km²)|
|Water volume||29.920 bil ft3
low: 7.800 bil ft3
|Surface elevation||771.0 ft
low: 740.0 ft
The Great Sacandaga Lake (formerly the Sacandaga Reservoir) is a large lake situated in the Adirondack Park in northern New York in the United States. The word Sacandaga means "Land of the Waving Grass" in the local native language. The lake is located in the northern parts of Fulton County and Saratoga County near the south border of the Adirondack Park. A small part of it also extends northward into southern Hamilton County. The broader, south end of the lake is northeast of the City of Johnstown and the City of Gloversville.
Like many of the other lakes in the Adirondack region of northern New York, Great Sacandaga Lake is a reservoir. The original lake was greatly enlarged by a dam on the Sacandaga River at the northeast end of the lake. The primary purpose for the creation of the reservoir was to control flooding on the Hudson River and the Sacandaga River.
Construction began in the 1920s and completed in March 1930, at a cost of $12 million. The lake has a surface area of about 41.7 square miles (108 km²) at capacity, and the length is about 29 miles (47 km). Damming the Sacandaga River had been proposed repeatedly over the late 19th century. Only after several large floods impacted downstream communities, such as the city of Albany, was there a serious and concerted effort by the state to explore flood control. A public benefit corporation was established to study the feasibility of the dam and later adopted a resolution proposing the dam in 1924. The dam was constructed by 1930 at Conklingville in the Town of Hadley, Saratoga County. Land speculation flourished as the plan to control the river and flood a large expanse of land leaked out. Many people chose to remove houses and buildings to new sites outside of the flood zone. Anything left behind as the dam neared completion was burned. However some structures remained standing as well as railroad with an abandoned aging train (now at the bottom of the lake). The new body of water was called a reservoir for many years, but after the middle of the 20th Century, the term "lake" became preferred. The reservoir is managed by the Hudson River Black River Regulating District.
Today, the local businesses benefit not only from the flood protection provided by the lake, but also from the tourist attraction and its economy that the lake has created in the area. People come from many local cities and towns to visit the lake for recreation, or to stay in their summer camps on the lake. Public access to the lake is via the many public boat launches, and public beaches; plus the campgrounds that are located on the shores of the lake.
Although the lake and some lands surrounding it are owned by New York State, no public money is used to manage the reservoir. Approximately 70% of the District's revenues come from lease agreements with electrical power companies who run the hydroelectric turbines in the dam.
Also located on the south shore in the Town of Day is HI-N-DRY camp. Ira Gray, or Adirondack Ike as he preferred to be called, lived with his mother, Julia, and stepfather, Charles Brooks, on the South Shore Road in the Town of Day, in the area known as Brooks Bay. Ike built a house for his mother and it was later moved up from the river. Behind the house Ike built a small camp on Daley Creek and called it HI-N-DRY. Ike’s house was filled with stuffed trophy animals hanging on the walls. Ike was a great whittler who carved wooden statues of beaver, deer, etc. This trapper, woodsman and author of several Adirondack books, left behind this reason for such a long life: Don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t work inside. Adirondack Ike’s home still stands on Daley Creek, west of Sacandaga Lake up the hill from Brooks Bay convenience store.
- Hudson River-Black River Regulating District
- Location: Lat 43°18'57", long 73°55'39" (North American Datum of 1927), Saratoga County, NY, Hydrologic Unit 02020002, 800 ft upstream from right end of Conklingville Dam on Sacandaga River at Conklingville.
- Period of record: January 1930 to current year. Prior to October 1969, published as "Sacandaga Reservoir at Conklingville".
- Gage: Water-stage recorder. Datum of gage is NGVD of 1929, adjustment of 1912.