ALERT: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been observed in the south eastern end of the lake.  LEARN MORE




Whether you’re fishing, water skiing, tubing, sailing or just making a leisurely circuit of the lake, it’s a day well spent. Make the most of it by following lake-friendly guidelines to protect yourself, others, and the environment. 

Keep in mind that boat wakes can cause erosion, stir up sediments, and turn shallow waters from clear to cloudy. Wakes also make the lake less enjoyable for fishing, skiing, swimming, paddle boarding, and sailing. 

What YOU Can Do

Slow down: It’s best to enjoy our lake at a cruise speed. In New York State, vessel speed is generally limited to 5 mph when within 100 feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat.

Keep it clean: Clean and dry all watercraft before launching.

Fuel safely: Gasoline and oil are highly toxic substances for fish and wildlife. Fuel your boat carefully on land or at a stable dock. 

Manage your bilge: Use an inexpensive bilge sock or pillow to absorb oil and fuel before draining your boat.  

Avoid milfoil: Boat propellers can chop up milfoil and other weeds. Those fragments spread, sink, and eventually sprout new plants.   

Be cautious: If you see the milfoil team at work, slow down and give them plenty of room – at least 100 feet. 

Report milfoil growth: Email us to report any large patches of milfoil. We will follow up on that location as a part of our annual lake survey.


Invasive species can be introduced to the lake by boats that have recently been on other bodies of water. 

Prevent the spread of invasives with the help of SLA’s Boat Launch Stewards. Stationed at the lake’s public launch sites, the stewards inspect boats and trailers for invasive vegetation, mussels, fish eggs, and other non-native threats. 

If you launch from private property, conduct your own inspection before the boat goes in.


Fishing on Skaneateles Lake is a joy, even when the fish aren’t cooperating. The lake supports a healthy and diverse fish population, from feisty rock bass to the huge one-that-got-away lake trout.

Invasive species of all kinds can be extremely detrimental to native fish populations. Anglers, especially those who fish on multiple lakes or streams, are asked to take all possible measures to prevent the introduction of invasives. 

Certain bait fish are invasive and threaten native fish species. Prohibited bait species include alewives, carp, goldfish, lamprey larvae, round goby, and European rudd. The full list can be found at

Catch and release fishing supports a strong fish population and is encouraged for most species. Walleye, however, were illegally introduced to the lake and are growing in number. Though not technically an invasive species, they are a threat to the balance of the lake ecosystem. Fishermen can help by targeting walleye and there are no limits.

What YOU Can Do

Launch responsibly: Boats should be clean, drained, and dry before launching into a new lake.

Protect native species: Never release live fish from another lake into Skaneateles Lake, or vice versa. 

BAIT DISPOSAL: Empty unused bait buckets on land, not in the lake. 

Be selective: Anglers are encouraged to harvest walleyes to keep that species in check. For others, catch and release is recommended to keep populations strong.

Remove threats: Dispose of milfoil fragments, litter, old fishing line, and other waste on land, never in the lake.

stay legal: Please refer to for current fishing regulations.

The Fish of Skaneateles

Lake Trout
Rainbow Trout
Atlantic (landlocked) Salmon
Smallmouth Bass
Largemouth Bass
Chain Pickerel
Yellow Perch
Rock Bass
Black Crappie
White Sucker
Brown Bullhead