Cayuga Lake is one of the 40 deepest lakes in the United States, is the longest of the glacial finger lakes, and spans three counties - Cayuga, Tompkins, and Seneca counties. It is 37.9 miles long, and 66.41 square miles, has a 55 meter mean depth, and 133 meter maximum depth. Three regional planning agencies have management authorities, and there are 12 towns, three villages, and one city adjacent to the lake. The city of Ithaca, site of Ithaca College and Cornell University, is located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake.

Cayuga Lake is part of the New York State Erie Canal system. The water level is regulated by the Mud Lock at the north end of the lake. It is connected to Lake Ontario by the Erie Canal and Seneca Lake by the Seneca River. The lake is drawn down as winter approaches, to minimize ice damage and to maximize its capacity to store heavy spring runoff.

FireShot Capture 282 - Google Earth - ea

Click on the image for a larger version of this map on Google Earth.


The large number of access points and proximity to other infested lakes makes Cayuga Lake vulnerable to new AIS introductions. As of January 2021, Cayuga Lake contained: 


Mud Bithynia (Bithynia tentaculata)

Fishhook Waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi)

Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea)

Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis)

Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

Scud (Echinogammarus ischnus)

Bloody-red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala)

Virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis)

Big-eared radix (Radix auricularia)

European stream valvata (Valvata piscinalis)


Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)

Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)

European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)

European water-fern/waterclover (Marsilea quadrifolia)

Variable watermilfoil; broadleaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum)

Eurasian water-milfoil; European water-milfoil; spike water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Brittle naiad (Najas minor)

American water lotus (Nelumbo lutea)

Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)

Curly pondweed; curly-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)

Water chestnut (Trapa natans)


Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)

Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

We are in the process of building out this case study. Stay tuned!
(February 2021)