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Lake Information for Lake Erie


Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore.

Because it is the shallowest, it is also the warmest of the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie is primarily fed by the Detroit River (from Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair) and drains via the Niagara River and Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario. Navigation downstream is provided by the Welland Canal, part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Other major contributors to Lake Erie include the Grand River, the Huron River, the Maumee River, the Sandusky River and the Cuyahoga River.

The drainage basin covers 30,140 square miles (78,000 sq. km).

Fishing Description: 

The eastern basin of Lake Erie is famous for trophy-size walleye (8-10 lbs.), which are mostly available to offshore trollers during the months of July and August. Local tournament winners often exceed 11 lbs.

Although not well known, the New York waters of Lake Erie may have the best smallmouth bass fishing in the Northeastern United States. Bass are found along the entire New York shoreline, with hotspots along rocky dropoffs in 15'-35' of water. The last five state record smallmouths have come from Lake Erie, with the current record standing at 8 lbs., 4 oz. Anglers can enjoy an early bass season on Lake Erie, which runs from the 1st Saturday in May until the 3rd Saturday in June. During this early season, there is a one fish limit and 20" minimum size requirement.

Excellent runs of steelhead are available to Lake Erie tributary anglers from September through April. Cattaraugus Creek has become famous throughout the Northeast for its incredible fishing, as well as its beautiful scenery and lack of fishing pressure. Other excellent streams are Chautauqua Creek, Canadaway Creek, 18-Mile Creek, and the Buffalo River.

Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Steelhead Trout
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Lake Erie
Lake type: 
New York

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Penrod's Bait & Tackle
  • 1560 S Park Ave - Buffalo, NY
  • (716) 823-0550
    P J's Bait & Tackle
  • 934 Clinton St - Buffalo, NY
  • (716) 854-0316
    M & T Bait & Tackle Shop
  • 215 Central Ave - Salamanca, NY
  • (716) 945-9273

Boat Rental

    Bouquard's Boat Livery
  • 1581 Fuhrmann Blvd - Buffalo, NY
  • (716) 826-6189
    Shore Acres Boat Yard
  • 3979 Route 430 - Bemus Point, NY
  • (716) 386-4092
    Boat Store
  • 10170 W Main Rd - North East, PA
  • (814) 459-4440

Vacation Rental

Bar and Restaurant

    Tito's Sports Bar & Restaurant
  • 201 Central Ave - Dunkirk, NY
  • (716) 366-8284
    Block Hotel
  • 950 Erie Rd - Angola, NY
  • (716) 549-5280

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