Welcome to Lamoka Lake
Lamoka Lake is a small crescent-shaped lake in the western part of New York, USA. The lake is located at the border of Schuyler County and Steuben County. Most of the lake is in Schuyler County with only a small part, called "Mill Pond," at the southwest corner in Steuben County. The name "Lamoka" is a native word meaning "Mud Lake" which was once another name used for Lamoka Lake.Lamoka Lake is located at 42°24′23″N 77°04′41″W / 42.40639°N 77.07806°W / 42.40639; -77.07806.
Access Waneta/Lamoka: CR23 Channel Launches
Location: Township of Tyrone
Access Waneta/Lamoka: CR23 Channel Launches
Area: 826 acres (includes Mill Pond near Bradford)
Shoreline: 11.3 miles
Elevation: 1099 feet
Maximum Depth: 40 feet
Mean Depth: 20 feet
Bottom Type: mud / gravel
Water Clarity: turbid
Oxygen: poor in summer below 15 feet
(This does not affect the fish at all.)
Boat Launch Site: Lamoka and Waneta Lakes are accessed by their respective DEC launch sites off county route 23, 2 miles west of Tyrone. These launch sites are on either side of a CR23 road culvert giving access to the channel connecting Lamoka and Waneta Lakes. The road culvert will only allow small fishing boats to pass between Lamoka and Waneta lakes due to its limited height and width. There is a parking area adjacent to the launch sites.
Plant Life: Extensive rooted aquatics are found in water up to 20 feet deep, except along the north-east shoreline. Algae blooms occur regularly in summer causing turbidity.
General Information: Lamoka Lake is one of the most productive lakes in central New York, in terms of its flora and fauna. Very extensive weed beds provide habitat for a wide variety of warm water species, the most important of which are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and chain pickerel. With the exception of smallmouth bass, all the predator species have excellent growth rate. This is due to the presence of a very large alewife (sawbelly) forage base. This is one of the few relatively shallow lakes with such a forage base.
Lamoka’s north end is connected to Waneta’s south end via an approximately ½ mile long channel. This channel passes through a road culvert where CR23 crosses between the two lakes (see boat launch information above). This channel area is owned by NYSE&G, who has given a permanent easement to the DEC for the launch areas. Lamoka Lake and its sister Lake Waneta supply water to a NYSE&G hydro-electric power plant located on the east shore of Keuka Lake. This power station is fed from the north end of Waneta Lake through a large pipe system with a water head of approximately 280 feet. The draw downs are minimal (controlled by FERC permit limits/timing), about 2 feet on the average. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permit mandates a control limit of 1099 feet to 1096 feet, with a summer limit from Memorial Day to October 1st of 1099 feet to 1098 feet. The Association has worked with NYSE&G and attempt to maintain the winter level around 1097 to 1097.5 feet. NYSE&G (2/1998) has informed FERC that it intends to request a non power permit when the current permit expires during year 2003. This does not effect fish or plant life in the lakes. At the south-west end of Lamoka Lake, it is also connected via an approximately 2 mile long channel (Mud Creek) to Mill Pond in the vicinity of Bradford. The Lakes water level can also be controlled by a NYSE&G dam and spillway located at the end of this channel
In addition to the channels described in the previous paragraph, Lamoka Lake has two true islands and a third which has now been attached by a permanent road. What has been referred to as Weller Island at the south-east end of the lake, adjacent to Fleet’s Cove, was connected by a permanent road in the early 50’s. This roadway separates the lake proper form a very large swamp at the south-east end. The swamp is a unique ecosystem and important wetlands associated with Lamoka Lake. The swamp is a haven for early season fishing prior to the warming of its shallow water, and a magnet for ducks and geese later in the fall. There is no public access to this area other than a small lake opening at the south west end of Weller Island. Red Bank Island is located at the north west end of the lake, at the end of the channel connecting the two lakes. The third Island is located at the south west corner of the lake at the point where the Mud Creek channel begins. This is a private island with two cottages and no electricity, currently owned by the Ruggles family.
The predominate game specie in Lamoka Lake is the largemouth bass. With the exception of the gravel beds along the north-east shore, largemouth can be found almost anywhere in the lake in water less than 20 feet deep. If you are looking to take a trophy bass in New York State, then Lamoka Lake would be a good place to visit. DEC electro-shocking studies have produced bass in the 10 pound category with many fish in the 6 to 8 pound range. While largemouth bas are well distributed throughout the lake, the small bays at the south-east corner appear to have the best fishing. Bass and black crappie can be found in the lake proper and the swampy areas. As the season progresses, the fishing areas out to the 15 foot depth become choked with weeds, making fishing very difficult. The Lakes’ Association is actively working to restore the natural aquatic vegetation which have been crowded out by Eurasian watermilfoil.
Smallmouth bass are also common in the lake, but account for only 15% of the bass population. The smallmouth are usually found on the gravel beds at the north-east end of the lake. The numbers of smallmouth bass are good, but their size is usually limited to the 1 to 11/2 pound category.
Chain Pickerel are the third major species in the lake. They are very well distributed and can be taken anywhere the weed lines are encountered. Lamoka Lake pickerel are big, up to 6 pounds, with the average running 3 to 4 pounds. Pickerel can be taken on a variety of spinner baits, spoons, crank baits, minnows, and worms. Ice fishing for Pickerel is very popular and productive on Lamoka Lake.
At one time during the late 50’s and early 60’s the DEC stocked muskellunge in these lakes to control the abundance of "bait fish". The musky didn’t do well in the lakes, so stocking was discontinued. That doesn’t mean they have disappeared, because remaining giants in excess of 46 pounds can still be taken. Electro-shocking indicated the muskies migrated to Waneta Lake, but fishing is notorious for its stories! Most catches are in the deeper waters off Red Bank island and central portions of the lake.
As a group, the panfish in Lamoka Lake are impressive for their abundance and size. With the exception of the rare redbellied sunfish, all of the panfish are very common and exhibit very good growth rates. In the spring, there is excellent fishing for black crappies in the shallow bays in the south-east corner of the lake and the channel connecting the two lakes. The crappies will be forced out of these areas in the summer by the excessive weed growth and water temperatures. The lake is also excellent fishing for yellow perch, pumpkinseeds, bluegills, bullhead and rockbass, making it an ideal lake for children to enjoy fishing’s pleasures. Winter fishing for these species is also very good in areas near Red Bank Mill Pond, and over the dormant weed beds of Lamoka Lake.
In closing, Lamoka Lake is named for the pre BC Lamoka Indian Nation that populated this lake area. It is written that Lamoka meant mud lake, and that Waneta meant green water. This is certainly generally descriptive of these two lakes. Cornell University and others have found large dwellings of this ancient Indian Nation in the channel area between the two lakes. Lamoka Lake proper (discounting Mill Pond and Mud Creek) is smaller than Waneta Lake, but nearly twice as deep on an average. Its shore line is more convoluted and exhibits a larger variety of habitat and physical attributes than Waneta Lake.
Both lakes are connected by a recently expanded bridge where County Route 23 crosses the cannel connecting the two lakes.