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Waneta Lake

Waneta Lake

Waneta Lake is an approximately 778 acre lake located in northwestern Schuyler County about two miles west of Tyrone. Waneta Lake is often mentioned collectively with Lamoka Lake which is just to the south and connected by a 0.7 mile canal that flows through the Waneta-Lamoka Wildlife Management Area. Except for the southern most portion of the lake, the shoreline is composed of year round and seasonal homes and cottages.

Physical Features:

Elevation: 1,099 feet
Area: 813 acres
Shoreline Length: 6.5miles
Length: 3.1 miles
Max Depth: 29 feet
Mean Depth: 15 feet
Town: Tyrone

Aquatic Plant Life:

Because it is relatively shallow and highly productive, aquatic vegetation, particularly Eurasion watermilfoil, has been abundant throughout the lake, especially at the northern and southern ends. Recent chemical treatments have been applied to control Eurasion watermilfoil and have been somewhat successful. Although Eurasion watermilfoil has been reduced, other species of native aquatic vegetation are quite abundant throughout the littoral areas.


A state boat launch is located on the south end of Waneta Lake on County Route 23, two miles west of the Hamlet of Tyrone. Parking is located across CR 23 at the site of the Lamoka Lake boat launch. Use caution when travelling in the channel to the lake as it can be shallow in some areas, especially during late summer when lake levels are lower.

Fish Species:

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, chain pickerel, yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, rock bass, brown bullhead, golden shiner, white sucker, common carp.


Fishing in Waneta Lake is very similar to Lamoka Lake providing anglers with excellent opportunities to catch quality sized largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and occasional smallmouth bass. Ample forage results in excellent growth and condition of these fishes. Largemouth bass can be found all around the lake in shallow water areas. During most summers, poor oxygen levels limit fish and fishing to the upper 20 feet of the lake. Recent surveys revealed numerous largemouth bass in the 4 pound range. Concentrate on structure and vegetation when fishing for largemouth bass. Spinner baits, jerk baits, crayfish, plastic worms, grubs, and tube baits work well for catching bass. Smallmouth bass are generally more common than in Lamoka Lake, but still make up a relatively small portion of bass within Waneta Lake. They can be found most anywhere, but are typically more abundant near gravel areas. Chain pickerel are typically associated with the abundant weedbeds and weedlines. Pickerel up to 5 pounds are common. Try casting spoons, spinners, spinnerbaits, stickbaits, and rubber worms in and near weedbeds. Large shiners suspended under bobbers also work well.

Unlike Lamoka Lake, an abundant muskellunge population maintained primarily through annual fingerling stocking by the NYSDEC provide anglers with an excellent chance to catch a trophy sized fish in Waneta Lake. Recent surveys have found numerous fish in the 30 pound size range with a few approaching 40 pounds. Sampling indicates that fish are in excellent condition with very good growth rates. Anglers typically troll along weed edges at somewhat fast speeds using larger stickbaits or jointed stickbaits. Perch or alewife colored imitations work quite well. Additionally, anglers cast large plastic baits along the weed edges around the lake.

Bluegills, yellow perch, and black crappie are plentiful and dominate the panfish catch. Black crappies provide excellent fishing opportunities in the shallow bays and within the channel in the spring. When fishing for panfish in other times of the year, concentrate on weed lines, openings in vegetation beds, and anywhere you can find submerged structure. Additionally, bullheads are very abundant throughout the lake and can be caught most anytime, although spring time is one of the better times to catch numerous bullheads.

In addition to the open water fishery, excellent ice fishing opportunities exist within Lamoka Lake with anglers targeting pickerel and panfish species. Try ice fishing with tip-ups baited with small minnows or jigging with spoons (like Swedish pimples) tipped with spikes, mousies or a minnow head. A popular area is around Red Bank Island found in the northern part of the lake.

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Updated: 04/21/2019