Rushford Lake: Everything You Need to Know

Rushford Lake is a water reservoir situated in western New York. The lake is situated in the Northwestern region of Allegheny County in New York. A significant part of the lake lies within Rushford, while the eastern part of the lake is located in Caneadea.

This lake is known for water activities like fishing and boating. If you are on the lookout for a fun day out with family and friends and some adventure to go with it, Rushford Lake is the place for you. The various species of fish and the picturesque sceneries will get you hooked.

The History of Rushford Lake

The lake was formed in 1927 because of a dam on Caneadea Creek. Consequently, flooding took place, and it washed away the Kellogville and East Rushford communities. For the first few decades, the lake was owned and taken care of by Rochester Gas and Electric. Its purpose was to control the level of water in the Genesee River.

However, in 1981 the lake was shifted to the  Rushford Lake Recreation District, and they have looked after it since. The Rushford Lake Recreation District manages not only the lake but also the dam and the shoreline.

In popular culture, this lake has been used as one of the sets for the 2004 film “Ghost Lake.” In that movie, the souls of the people that drowned in the lake during the construction of the lake come back to avenge the dead.

Shape and Size

Rushford Lake is crescent in shape, and it is 585 acres in size. The west and the south ends of this lake are fed by the Caneadea and the Rush Creek. This lake is 115 feet deep. Moreover, every winter, it is drawn down 40 feet.

Communities like Hillcrest and Balcom Beach are located near this lake. Hillcrest covers the northern shore, while Balcom Beach covers the western shore. The northern side of the lake is crossed by the New York State Route 243.

Fish Species Found in the Rushford Lake

As discussed above, fishing is a popular activity at the lake. People from across the US come here to catch fish with their friends and loved ones. Some of the most famous species of fish in Rushford Lake are as follows.


Rushford lake is home to various species of Panfish. These species include the Rock Bass, Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, and the Brown Bullhead. Despite the variety, the Panfish aren’t abundant, and they also have slower growth rates.

The growth of the Panfish population is hindered due to lesser weed beds. This is primarily due to the drawing down that takes place during the winter seasons. The good news is that you can find ample baits such as small lures, jigs, worms and minnows.


Next, we have the famous Walleye. The Walleye isn’t a native to this lake, and they were introduced in the late 1980s, and they have been here ever since. A 2005 study showed promising results, in terms of growth rates.

According to the study, the fish could attain a size of 15 inches by the age of three. The Walleye feed primarily on Bass and Emerald shiners. If you want to catch a Walleye, you can use imitation minnows or jigs as bait.


Each year, brown and black trout yearlings are stocked within the lake. Moreover, this lake offers the right conditions for the trout to thrive and multiply. The lake is 115 feet deep, and it offers sufficient cold and well-oxygenated water to support trout growth through the summer season.

What’s amazing about the trout is that it can attain a greater size. If an angler catches a 3-5-year-old trout, its size will be somewhere between 20-25 inches. In the spring and fall seasons, trout can be found near the surface. However, in summer, you have to go deeper to find this fish. To catch this fish, you can either use spinners or imitation minnows.

Smallmouth Bass

Last on the list is the Smallmouth Bass. It is one of the most popular fish in Rushford Lake. This fish has a decent growth rate, as it can attain 12 inches by the age of four or five. The great news is that this lake is home to some steep drop-offs. As a result, it becomes easier to target a fine Smallmouth Bass.

The Smallmouth Bass mostly feed on Crayfish and the Emerald Shiners. To catch the Smallmouth Bass, you need bait that resembles its food. You can either resort to live bait lures that resemble them.

The fishing activities in this area are regulated by the Statewide Fishing Regulations, so make sure to abide by their rules.

Rushford Lake Boating Club

If you think fishing is the only activity you can indulge in at Rushford Lake, think again. The Rushford Lake Boating Club was formed in 2007. Ever since it has been a major attraction for tourists.

The boating club exists for the purpose of promoting power boating and paddle boating in the region. Furthermore, besides creating a healthy community of boating enthusiasts, the club also organizes various educational events.

At the club, you can watch parades or enjoy a nice Barbeque dinner with square dancing. Also, you can attend a pantry party and play a fun game of scavenger hunt afterward. The Rushford Lake Boating Club literally has something for everyone.

Final Word

It’s not every day you visit a lake that offers such a wide variety of fish. This lake is an angler’s and fisherman’s paradise. Before paying a visit, make sure to conduct in-depth research. By doing so, you will have a better idea of which fish to catch, where to catch them, how to catch, and at what time of the year. Furthermore, to have an amazing experience, don’t forget to abide by the local fishing laws, and try not to harm the environment in any way.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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