Seneca Lake (New York)

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Seneca Lake is the largest of the glacial Finger Lakes of the U.S. state of New York, and the deepest lake entirely within in the state. It is promoted as being the lake trout capital of the world, and is host of the National Lake Trout Derby. Because of its depth, Seneca Lake has been a testing site for submarines. The lake takes its name from the Seneca nation of Native Americans. At the north end of Seneca Lake is the city of Geneva, New York, home of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, a division of Cornell University. At the south end of the lake is the village of Watkins Glen, New York, famed for auto racing and waterfalls.

Due to Seneca Lake's unique macroclimate it is home to over 40 wineries, many of them farm wineries and is the location of the Seneca Lake AVA. (See Seneca Lake wine trail).

Contents

Description

At 38 miles (61 km) long, It is the second longest of the Finger Lakes and has the largest volume, estimated at 4.2 trillion US gallons (16 km³), roughly half of the water in all the Finger Lakes. It has a maximum depth of 618 feet (188 m), and a mean depth of 291 feet (89 m). It has a surface area of 42,800 acres (173 km2).

The two main inlets are Catharine Creek at the southern end and the Keuka Lake Outlet. Seneca Lake outlets into the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, which joins Seneca and Cayuga Lakes at their northern ends.

It is fed by underground springs and replenished at a rate of 328,000 gallons (29,520 m³) per minute. These springs keep the water moving in a constant circular motion, giving it little chance to freeze over. Because of Seneca Lake's great depth, it remains a constant 39.2 °F (4.0 °C). During the summer months however, the top 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 4.6 m) does warm up to a pleasant 70–80 °F (21–27 °C).

Ecology

Seneca lake is haven to some of the most prized Lake trout in the world because of its great depths and low boating traffic. However, in recent years, populations of shallow water fish such as bass have dwindled considerably due to infestations of Carp and Zebra mussels.

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