Location - among the Western Finger Lakes, 25 miles SE of Rochester, draining to the Genesee River and Lake Ontario
1872 - City of Rochester identifies the lakes as a water source.
1876 - City begins utilization of lakes as source of drinking water.
1895 - City begins program to acquire all shoreline properties within 200 feet of the lakes.
1947 - Last shoreline property purchased, totaling 7,200 acres.
1991 - Water filtration plant built at the north of Hemlock Lake opened.
Present - Hemlock and Canadice Lakes are used by the City of Rochester as a drinking water source at the rate of 37 million gallons per day.
Elevation - 905 feet above sea level
Area - 2.8 square miles or 1800 acres
Length - 7 miles
Maximum width - 0.5 miles
Maximum depth - 91 feet
Volume - 43 billion gallons
Shoreline - 16 miles
Watershed area - 49 square miles
Elevation - 1096 feet
Area - 1.0 square mile or 649 acres
Length - 3 miles
Maximum width - 0.3 miles
Maximum depth - 95 feet
Volume - 12 billion gallons
Shoreline - 7.5 miles
Watershed area - 12 square miles
Watershed Land Use
Open water - 2,688 acres (7%)
Wetlands - 768 acres (2%)
Forest - 28,800 acres (75%)
Agriculture - 4,224 acres (11%)
Developed - 1,536 acres (4%)
Shoreline - undeveloped except for dams at north end of each lake
Maple-ash, beech, oak, white pine and hemlock, silver maple-ash in swamps, 400+ acre steep tract SW of Hemlock Lake may be old growth
Wildlife and Use
The watershed area is categorized as an Important Bird Area and supports two nesting pairs of Bald eagles. In the 1970s the Hemlock eagles were the sole remaining breeding pairs in NYS. Lakes support lake, rainbow and brown trout as well as small-mouth and large-mouth bass and pickerel.
More than 20,000 watershed recreation permits are issued each year to hunters, fisherman, birders and hikers. Boat launches exist at the north and south ends of Hemlock Lake and the middle of the western side of Canadice. Boats may not exceed 16 feet in length or over 10 hp. No swimming is allowed.