Lake Ontario from shore

Lake Ontario seen from dead-end Dutch Street Road, Huron NY

Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes, located North of the Finger Lakes Region. The finger lakes flow northward, eventually into the Genesee River which feeds Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario is the smallest and Easternmost of the Great Lakes; however, it exceeds Lake Erie for volume and it is the 14th largest lake in the world, with a shore length of 712 miles. Lake Ontario is 193 miles long, 53 miles wide, has a maximum and average depth of 802 and 283 feet, and has a surface elevation of 246 feet. Most of the American shore of Lake Ontario is rural, with the exception of Rochester and Oswego, to a much lesser degree. Syracuse is located 40 miles inward and is connected by canals. Breezes coming off the south shore of Lake Ontario account for the area becoming a major fruit growing area for apples, cherries, pears, plums, and peaches. The cool breezes prevent the fruit bloom until the spring threat of frost is over.

Due to heavy pollution from untreated waste, by the 1960s and 70s Lake Ontario was heavily polluted, which caused algal blooms to occur in the summer, killing a large number of fish and becoming so thick that waves could not break. Since the 70s, cleanup of indutrial waste has occured and the lake has restored much of it's pristine quality. Today it has become a significant fishery, with Walleye, Coho, and Chinook Salmon thriving there.

One problem for Lake Ontario today is invasive species, namely lamprey eels and zebra mussels.