Lake Ontario

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Lake Ontario is the 14th largest lake in the world. Although it is the smallest of the Great Lakes in surface area (193 miles by 53 miles), it ranks fourth among the Great Lakes in maximum depth. Lake Ontario is similar to Lake Erie in length and breadth, yet with its greater average depth (approximately 283 feet), Lake Ontario holds almost four times the volume of water (393 cubic miles). The drainage basin covers parts of Ontario and New York State. A few large urban areas, including Ontario's capital city (Toronto), are located on the Canadian shoreline. The U.S. shore is less urbanized and is not intensively farmed. The lake's main fish species include chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye and carp.

     Lake Ontario is famous for it's fantastic salmon fishery. Among the many species present, the chinook or pacific salmon are the kings in these waters, many topping the scales at well over 30 pounds. With fish nearing the 40 pound mark caught annually. Other less predominant salmon species are the coho salmon, pink salmon and atlantic salmon.

In spring, most salmon congregate off shore feeding heavily on spawning smelt and alewifes. Trolling a variety of spoons using downriggers is the technique of choice for most anglers. The spoons are trolled above and below marked fish usually within 1 mile of the shore. Some of the best spoons are nasty boys, williams, evil eyes and northern kings. Pier fishing can also produce some nice fish for shore anglers. Casting spoons, such as cleos and pixies on windy days at dusk and dawn can be hot.

In summer, salmon move out into deeper water off shore. Once again relating to schools of baitfish. Trolling spoons using downriggers near marked baitfish schools is always a good bet.

In fall, salmon once again move inshore, this time to spawn, with large numbers of them congregating at river mouths. Many boats can be seen trolling these areas with spoons and plugs. Shore anglers cast spoons and plugs or bottom fish with marshmellows and spawn along piers lining river mouths.

     Many species of trout inhabit Lake Ontario, although none is more sought after than the rainbow trout or steelhead. Known for it's brilliant leaps when hooked, anglers can enjoy catching world class fish. The average Lake Ontario, rainbow weights 6-8 pounds, although trophy steelhead weighting over 20 pounds are not uncommon. Open water fish are caught using the same techniques as those used for salmon, with fish moving inshore in the spring and fall, and deeper during the summer months.

     River mouths are the prime targets for the shore angler during spring and fall. Casting spoons or spinners at river mouths or angling with spawn, either on bottom or under a float are proven tactics this time of year. Steelhead spawn in the spring, and many anglers do a yearly pilgrimage to one of the many rivers draining into Lake Ontario. Crowding well known rivers, anglers float fish for migratory trout, with spawn, flies and worms.

Statistics & Figures:

LENGTH: 193 miles / 311 km.
BREADTH: 53 miles / 85 km.
AVERAGE DEPTH: 283 ft. / 86 m
MAXIMUM DEPTH: 802 ft. / 244 m.
VOLUME: 393 cubic miles / 1,640 cubic km.
WATER SURFACE AREA: 7,340 sq. miles / 18,960 sq. km.
DRAINAGE BASIN AREA: 24,720 sq. miles / 64,030 sq. km.
(including islands):
712 miles / 1,146 km.
ELEVATION: 243 ft. / 74 m.
OUTLET: St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean

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Lake Ontario NEWS!

Lake Ontario property owners will pay dearly for Plan 2014 (Commentary)
A couple of black labs walk along the shoreline in Sodus Point. The Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance is opposed to a proposed plan to regulate the water level of Lake Ontario. The plan would allow for higher highs and lower lows. LORA claims the plan ...

LOC Derby: The biggest fishing tournament series on Lake Ontario
It's the largest fishing tournament series on Lake Ontario, with total prize money this year exceeding $139,550. The LOC Derby series features spring, summer and fall competitions -- with the Spring Derby beginning Friday. Last year's contests ...

and more »

Toronto Star

OPP investigates Ontario government over wind turbine project allegations
Toronto Star
Dave Truax said the force is “investigating allegations of wrongdoing involving a proposal to supply wind energy from turbines in the eastern portion of Lake Ontario.” “An investigation was recently launched after allegations were made by a third-party ...
Ontario Liberals face criminal probe into cancelled wind-farm projectThe Globe and Mail
OPP investigates Ontario over allegations involving wind turbine projectMetroNews Canada
NDP demands a public inquiry into new energy contract allegations rattling Ontario LiberalsNational Post
Quinte News
all 13 news articles »

Northumberland News

Northumberland cyclists join ride around Lake Ontario
Northumberland News
COBOURG -- Cyclists Martin Macdonald, left, Susan and David O'Gorman are supporting the 7 Days In May Riding to Cure Pancreas Cancer ride this month. The ride starts on May 28 in Mississauga, travels east, to Cobourg, around Lake Ontario into New ...

CTV News

Forest fire spreads near Manitoba-Ontario border
CTV News
A forest fire near the Manitoba-Ontario border has forced the evacuation of a town in cottage country Thursday evening. Ontario Provincial Police helped evacuate Ingolf, ON near Macara Lake. About 100 people left the town, just east of the Manitoba border.
100 people evacuated as firefighters battle forest fire along Manitoba, Ontario
Small community in western Ontario evacuated due to wildfireMetroNews Canada
Ontario joins Fort McMurray forest fire emergency responseDaily Miner and News

all 9 news articles »

Religious group selling 35-acre site on Lake Ontario
Buffalo News
A Christian outreach ministry is putting its 35-acre Niagara Shores Campground & Conference Center along Lake Ontario up for sale, after concluding it's not worth the investment that would be required to upgrade it. Global Outreach Mission Inc. is ...

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