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!

Body found in Lake Ontario; police suspect drowning
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Greece Police say a 72-year-old woman drowned on Sunday morning in Lake Ontario not far from her home. Police were initially notified of a missing person and responded to Ontario Boulevard. An investigation revealed that the woman had fallen into the ...
Suburban Rochester woman's body found in Lake

all 25 news articles »

TWC News

Lake Effect Snow Band Pummeled Areas Off Lake Ontario
TWC News
PARISH, N.Y. -- Oswego County has really escaped the worst of the winter weather -- until now. A band of lake effect snow pummeled areas just off Lake Ontario overnight and into Thursday morning. Schools across the area are closed. SUNY Oswego even ...
Lake-effect snow to blast Great Lakes snowbelts through the
Lake effect snow swings south this morning: Jim Teske'sWSYR
37 INCHES of lake effect snow in Oswego CountyPress & Sun-Bulletin -WWNY TV 7
all 123 news articles »

A 'spiritual experience': Surfing on Lake Ontario in the winter (video)
Pultneyville, N.Y. The wind was gusting at about 30 knots and the temperature hovered at just above 20 degrees. Waves 3 to 5 feet high were crashing along the ice-covered shoreline. For Aurelien Bouche-Pillon, it was a good day to go surfing on Lake ...

10 inches of snow falls on Hamlin, the shoreline of Lake Ontario
In fact, a car went off of the west fork of Lake Road Wednesday evening and took out a pole. Roth attributed that to the weather. Power crews had to come on scene to replace the pole and the road was shut down. Breslawski knows what the Hamlin highway ...

and more »

Toronto Star

Body of Toronto police officer recovered from Lake Ontario near Polson Pier
Toronto Star
Toronto police Const. Darius Garda would never drink and drive. So he drank alcohol then took a cab to the Polson and Cherry Sts. area, a spot not far from his home base at 51 Division station. Then, according to police sources, Garda ended his life in ...
Body pulled from Lake Ontario ID'd as Toronto police
Toronto police officer's body pulled out of Lake OntarioCityNews
Toronto police officer's body recovered from Lake OntarioMetroNews Canada
CKNW News Talk 980
all 17 news articles »

MetroNews Canada

Officer found in Lake Ontario fought to get help for PTSD
MetroNews Canada
Officer found in Lake Ontario fought to get help for PTSD. For first responders suffering from PTSD there are many hurdles to the help they badly need, like realizing mental health challenges aren't part of the job. Share on Facebook. Reddit this! A. A ...
Cause of Toronto police officer's death confirmed as
Toronto cop Darius Garda remembered as 'genuine', 'empathetic'

all 9 news articles »
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