Canandaigua Lake

Newslinks and Resources for Canandaigua Lake - a Finger Lake and part of the Rochester, NY area's environment   

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"The fourth largest of the Finger Lakes, Canandaigua Lake is located 29 miles southeast of the city of Rochester. Called by the Indians, The Chosen Place, Canandaigua lies within Ontario and Yates counties. The lake is bordered on the north by the city of Canandaigua, and on the south by the settlement of Woodville." NYS DEC.

Canandaigua Lake NewsLinks

It's important to monitor the health of our Finger Lakes, which is a part of our regions environmental health.



  • Failing septic systems threaten Canandaigua Lake Experts and watchdogs are tackling a major cause of pollution on the lake More than 700 septic systems along Canandaigua Lake are too close for comfort, according to those charged with ensuring the lake's health. Situated within 200 feet of the lake, the systems not doing their job are at risk of feeding noxious aquatic plants — like this summer’s blue-green algae that was so intense it shuttered beaches and sparked health alerts. While properly functioning systems aren’t a problem, too many fall into the faulty or failing categories and are now the target of lake watchdogs stepping up the fight against lake pollution. Local leaders who make up the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council last week discussed the problem in the form of a draft model local law that communities around the lake could use to zero in on the threat. The law contains a number of recommendations. Towns can adopt the law as is, or modify and adopt their own version. (December 17, 2015) Webster Post [more on Canandaigua Lake in our area]
  • Canandaigua Lake plagued by blue-green algae Canandaigua Lake, considered one of the cleanest of the Finger Lakes, continues to be plagued by blue-green algae and by streaks and patches of white foam. The foam, which likely has natural origins, has appeared on the lake before. So has blue-green algae — but never to the extent it does now. The organism, which actually is a form of bacteria, has been spreading through various parts of Canandaigua Lake for three weeks. A report from the lake's watershed manager on Wednesday said "multiple" algal blooms were present in the lake, including at the north and south ends. (September 18, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality and Canandaigua Lake in our area]
  • Will Canandaigua Lake algae put damper on holiday weekend? Kershaw Beach was closed Thursday for precautions after blue-green algae was confirmed on Canandaigua Lake Just as people are looking forward to the Labor Day weekend, Canandaigua Lake has joined the ranks of waterways statewide with blue-green algae. In the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake last month had its first confirmed blue-green algae bloom and Honeoye Lake has visible patches of the noxious substance. Now, samples tested this week on Canandaigua Lake have confirmed the presence of blue-green algae. Samples from Canandaigua Lake are undergoing further analysis to determine whether the algae is producing a toxin that can be harmful to humans and other animals, according to the blue-green algae advisory posted by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council. Those results are expected to be available Friday. (September 3, 2015) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Water Quality and Canandaigua Lake in our area]
  • Boost sought for Canandaigua Lake protection from invasive species Watershed council plans to pay boat stewards who check Canandaigua Lake watercraft CANANDAIGUA — A volunteer program launched last summer that aimed to keep certain invasive species out of Canandaigua Lake and limit others already found in its waters might be ramped up this coming boating season. The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council is seeking $3,000 each from the city and town of Canandaigua as well as the town of Gorham to help pay the boat stewards who inspect watercraft and remove aquatic invasive species from them. The funding this year will help the program be sustainable beyond 2015, according to Kevin Olvany, watershed manager for the council. A big push is on to prevent hydrilla — a pervasive and resilient plant introduced to the country through the aquarium trade — from entering the lake, Olvany told members of City Council’s Environmental Committee Jan. 13. (January 19, 2015) Gates-Chili Post [more on Invasive Species and Canandaigua Lake in our area]
  • Gift preserves woods around High Tor near Canandaigua Lake Conservation easement will protect 118 acres near Canandaigua Lake  A donation by a Connecticut resident and seasonal visitor to the Finger Lakes will preserve 181 acres surrounding the state High Tor Wildlife Management Area near Canandaigua Lake. The conservation easement Philip Cusick donated to the Finger Lakes Land Trust will preserve the woodlands sharing 2,385 feet of boundary with High Tor — a protected area of 6,100 acres of public conservation land. “This is a wonderful gift,” stated Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp in a release announcing the donation. “Protection of this land will secure a large contiguous block of wildlife habitat while also helping ensure Canandaigua Lake’s water quality.” (January 12, 2015) Daily Messenger [more on Canandaigua Lake in our area]


  • Canandaigua Lake level up, lake temp down The Canandaigua Lake level Friday morning measured 688.24 feet, up from last year’s level on this date of 687.84 feet. The target level for Aug. 16 is 688.46.   Canandaigua waste water treatment facility staff maneuver feeder and outlet gates to help keep the lake level close or at the ideal level. Lake level is measured with a device at the rest room building on City Pier, which is maintained by the U.S. Geological Society. (August 16, 2013) [more on Canandaigua Lake in our area]
  • Expert: Worst fish die-off in years on Canandaigua Lake  Canandaigua, N.Y. — With the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner and summer recreation season about to kick into high gear, people are eager to learn what is causing the unusually high number of dead fish washing up on the shores of Canandaigua Lake. “It’s a deathly odor,” said Jan Haynes, who said she has followed the increasing number of dead fish in recent weeks during walks on the docks near her home in Canandaigua on Town Harbor Island. (July 1, 2013) [more on Canandaigua Lake in our area]



  • Worries aside, Canandaigua Lake is healthy - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow Despite the number of dead fish, local officials said there is no cause for alarm. “The overall health of the lake is in pretty good shape,” said Kevin Olvany, program manager of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council. There are areas of concern, like levels of phosphorus and bacteria in the water, but Olvany said the council regularly tests for such impurities and remains dedicated to maintaining the quality of the lake’s waters.  (June 22, 2010) Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow  [more on Canandaigua Lake in our area]




  • Land purchase protects lake -16-acre plot near Canandaigua's southern tip thwarts development - — A land trust's recent purchase of 16 acres near the south end of Canandaigua Lake is good news for those worried that development is displacing nature. The Finger Lakes Land Trust's purchase has significance that goes beyond the 16 acres because the land had been slated for development and borders the state's High Tor Fish and Wildlife Management Area, 6,100 acres of wooded terrain and marshlands. (March 19, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle


  • Duckweed clogs shore  Meanwhile, blue-green algae has bloomed on the east side of Canandaigua Lake. - CANANDAIGUA — Duckweed has turned portions of Canandaigua Lake into a sea of green confetti. The small, round plant arrived with the rains from Hurricane Ernesto and grew thick at Bob Krokus’ home on West Lake Road. (Sept. 17, 2006) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Full speed ahead for lakefront regs - City leaders must decide - and soon - how tall buildings should be and where parking lots can go. CANANDAIGUA - City leaders want to build an access road behind Parkway Plaza and allow taller buildings on Lakeshore Drive to make the lakefront more attractive to both developers and visitors. Messenger Post Newspapers



  • Duck-feeding ordinance in Canandaigua? One resident sides with the DEC that feeding the ducks does more harm than good. CANANDAIGUA - One Canandaigua resident says it's time town officials consider a law that restricts the feeding of waterfowl. (August 14, 2002) Daily Messenger
  • Canandaigua Lake is healthier than many other lakes, according to a recent environmental report. The report was concerned, however, about the extent that lakeshore residents contribute to lake pollution, as well as the puzzling white foam that has been spotted along the shore, which has been attributed by some to the decaying of dead zebra mussels. (July 2, 2002) The Town Crier News --


  • Shallow lake level a big concern  Wetlands may become exposed and plant life may die if Canandaigua Lake becomes much shallower. (Monday, December 10, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Lake foam may come from dead zebra mussels Officials still have to conduct more tests on the foam floating on Canandaigua Lake. Recent tests in Canandaigua Lake suggests heavy foam buildup may be due to decaying zebra mussels. (Wednesday, September 26, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • 'Lake Foam: Yuck' Experts say a white foamy substance is most likely the remains of once-living algae or zooplankton. Large pools of soap-like bubbles have been washing up on the east side of Canandaigua Lake, and some residents say it's the worst they've seen it in years. (Thursday, August 23, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Canandaigua Lake to undergo tests  Three high-tech devices will soon be placed in Canandaigua Lake to help determine water quality. CANANDAIGUA - Canandaigua Lake will undergo a new round of tests for pollutants linked to personal watercrafts. (Wednesday, June 6, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Council tackles water quality The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council is taking steps to improve and maintain the quality of the lake and its tributaries. CANANDAIGUA — The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council last week decided to move forward with a plan to install instruments in Canandaigua Lake to collect hydrocarbons — a procedure to determine lake water quality.  (April 9, 2001)
  • Salt use rises in watershed  Salt usage has increased each year since 1996 in the Canandaigua Lake watershed. Despite fewer large-scale snow or ice storms, the amount of salt used to clear roadways in the Canandaigua Lake watershed increased by more than 21 percent last year compared to the year before. February 20, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Finger Lakes Land Trust secures lush donation A couple has donated 220 pristine acres that look over Canandaigua Lake. A Canandaigua Lake hillside coveted for its scenic beauty will be preserved for generations due to a private donation. (January 31, 2001) Gates-Chili Post
  • Always on the level Department of Public Works personnel daily keep tabs on the level of Canandaigua Lake, controlling the gates to raise or lower the level. (January 30, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Jet Skis can stay for now, panel rules A group that studied the issue opts to focus on education.
    CANANDAIGUA — Jet Ski lovers won an important battle this week after a committee decided not to further restrict use of personal watercrafts on Canandaigua Lake.  (January 24, 2001) Daily Messenger
  • Canandaigua Lake tests OK for pollutants A study of lake sediment reveals low levels of contaminants.



Resources for Canandaigua Lake

If you live near Canandaigua Lake perhaps one of these resources can be a way for you to become involved with your lake's health. 

  • Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, consisting of publicly elected representatives from each of the fourteen watershed and water purveying municipalities is the lead organization in the protection of the Canandaigua Lake watershed. It is the goal of the Watershed Council to maintain and enhance the high water quality of the Canandaigua Lake watershed through education, research, restoration and if necessary regulation. The Watershed Council strives to cooperate and partner with the various citizen groups along with county, state and federal agencies to more effectively and efficiently implement the plan
  • Canandaigua Lake....Our Heritage and Our Responsibility The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Alliance is a non-profit, community-based organization with over 450 members whose purpose is to study, inform and promote methods to conserve, improve and protect the natural resources, water quality and overall environment of the Canandaigua Lake watershed.
  • Canandaigua Lake Association  Canandaigua Lake Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization whose purpose is to advocate for the protection of Canandaigua Lake, its natural resources, and the surrounding land and property, as well as preserve the local Native American folklore and pioneer history.
  • Finger Lakes Home-page Join Us In The Finger Lakes   There are 11 beautiful bodies of water that make up the Finger Lakes. Going from West to East they are: Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, Honeoye, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles and Otisco.
  • Canandaigua Lake -- Complete resource from the NYS Department of Environment.
  • Finger Lakes Land Trust: Founded in 1989, the Finger Lakes Land Trust works to protect the natural integrity of the Finger Lakes Region. Our work involves establishing nature preserves, holding conservation easements, educating for responsible stewardship, and working cooperatively with private groups and public agencies. We are a non-profit organization supported by donations from members and grants received from private foundations and government agencies.