Canadarago Lake

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Canadarago Lake
Canadarago Lake Rt28.jpg
Canadarago Lake seen from NY 28
LocationOtsego County, New York
Coordinates42°49′00″N 75°00′15″W / 42.81667°N 75.00417°W / 42.81667; -75.00417Coordinates: 42°49′00″N 75°00′15″W / 42.81667°N 75.00417°W / 42.81667; -75.00417
Primary inflowsOcquionis Creek, Mink Creek, Hyder Creek, Herkimer Creek
Primary outflowsOaks Creek
Catchment area67 sq mi (170 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length4.04 miles (6.50 km)
Max. width1.38 miles (2.22 km)
Surface area1,944 acres (7.87 km2)
Max. depth43.96 feet (13.40 m)
Shore length110 miles (16 km)[1]
Surface elevation1,266 feet (386 m)[1]
Deowongo Island,
Loon Island(sunken)
SettlementsRichfield Springs, Schuyler Lake
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Canadarago Lake is the second largest lake in Otsego County, New York, USA, lying to the west of and parallel to the larger Otsego Lake. The lake's name is also spelled "Candajarago Lake" or "Caniadaraga Lake".

The lake has two islands. One island is known as Deowongo Island. The island's name is said to mean, "Place of Hearing", coming from the Oneida Iroquois nation’s language, and was given to the island because of the echo that was noticeable from that body of land. The island was protected in October 2012 and is currently open for public access. The other island is Loon Island which is a sunken island that disappeared in the early 19th century.[2]

Bordering areas[edit]

Canadarago lake runs from the Village of Richfield Springs at the north end to the community of Schuyler Lake at the south end. The lake has historically also been known as Schuyler Lake, and the community mentioned earlier still bears this name.

The northern end of the lake is in the Town of Richfield, and the southern end is in the Town of Exeter on the west and the Town of Otsego on the east.

The lake is surrounded by hills, used historically for agriculture.


The lake is located at 42°48.9′N 75°00.4′W / 42.8150°N 75.0067°W / 42.8150; -75.0067 in central New York.

Canadarago Lake is a dimictic lake surviving a previous glacial period. The lake is also eutrophic.[3] The lake is approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) long and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide. There is a small island near the eastern shore. The surface area is 7.6 square kilometres (1,900 acres). The maximum depth is 13 meters (43 ft). The lake watershed drains 174 square kilometres (67 sq mi). There is a sunken island on Canadarago Lake. It was called Loon Island. This island stood toward the north end of the lake toward the northwest side, near the Baker’s Beach area. Loon Island was less than an acre. It disappeared in the early part of the 19th Century.[2]

Ocquionis Creek feeds into the lake from the north, and Oaks Creek drains from the south through a bog, ultimately flowing into the Susquehanna River.


In 1872, a small steamboat was launched on the lake as a pleasure craft.

The island on Canadarago is called Deowongo Island (De-O-Won-Go) by the Oneida Indians who lived in the area. The name is said to mean, "Place of Hearing", and was given to the island because of the echo that was noticeable from that body of land. The island was purchased from the State of New York by Daniel Wormer in 1850.

Until the early part of the 19th century, there was a second island on the lake called Loon Island. Smaller than the island that remains on Canadarago today, Loon Island was only half an acre in size. Its southern shore was marshy, but the northern end of the island (toward Richfield Springs) had trees and vegetation. In 1816..."the year without a summer", there was an early spring thaw and the streams that feed Canadarago were running high. Their water flow covered the lake ice. A north wind blew the ice pack into the southern portion of the lake. Not long after that, there was a hard freeze and the winds shifted from out of the south. The ice pack, larger than before, was sent back in the opposite direction. The saw effect took off the surface soil of the island and took down the trees and vegetation. It has been under water ever since.

Incompletely treated sewage from Richfield Springs caused algae blooms, but better treatment instigated during the 1970s has abated this problem.

June 2006 saw massive flooding of its banks after record rainfall. Legislation to create a Canadarago Lake District was approved by the New York State Legislature in 2007 but was subsequently vetoed by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

In 1778, there was an event known as the Andrustown Massacre during the American Revolutionary War near Canadarago Lake. There is a marker south of Hendersonville on the road to the lake known as the “Leatherstocking Trail”, which is a reminder of this massacre. In 1902, the Southern New York Railroad, an electric railroad, was opened south of Herkimer and Mohawk to Jordanville, Richfield Springs, Canadarago Lake, Cooperstown and Oneonta.[4]

Many cottages have been built around the lake.


One of the lake’s biggest attractions is fishing. There are many species of fish in the lake with Black Bass, Yellow Perch, and Walleye being the most popular to fish. The lake’s Walleye population is being supplemented with approximately 40,000 Walleyes four to five inches in length (NYS Department of Environmental Conservation). They are being supplemented annually through 2016, where they will be re-evaluated and most likely stocked once every two to three years. During the summer, there are multiple bass tournaments to show off who can catch the most impressive sized bass. Ice fishing is also permitted during the winter months.[1]

There are different regulations for fishing on the lake including a catch limit and season. Black Bass season goes from December first to the third Saturday in June and there is a limit of five fish per day. The walleye population goes from the first Saturday in May to March fifteenth with a limit of five fish per day. As for Yellow Perch, the season is open all year and a limit of twenty five per day.[5] In recent years yellow perch and other fishing in this lake have deteriorated due to over introduction of small bait fish by NYSDEC.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Canadarago Lake". Nysdec. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b urtz, don (2010). "Canadaragos two islands". mercury. Retrieved 16 April 2017. data
  3. ^ "Ecology of the Lakes of East-Central New York". 1997. Retrieved 5 January 2018. data
  4. ^ "History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 Chapter 127". Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "Fishing Regulations". canadarago lake improvement association. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "Resources". canadarago lake improvement association. Retrieved September 10, 2017.

External links[edit]