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  • Terry Gronwall

Saturday October 30 Storm Update - Lake level highest in 7 years!

After getting ~3 inches of rain last Tuesday and Wednesday and another ~1.5 inches of rain last night the lake level is now up ~2.2 feet (~26.4 inches) to 805.5 feet above sea level. The highest lake level we have seen in 7 years. Only the 100 year storms we had in the summer of 2014 increased the lake level higher than it is today. 30 day and 7 year lake level charts as of noon today (Saturday) are shown below:

I will update both of these lake level charts tomorrow (Sunday).

Almost all docks that are still in the lake are under water. Many dock floor panels wood and composite material have floated off of docks. Some of the composite ones have sank to the lake bottom. With the help of three of my neighbors it took us about 2 hours to retrieve our dock panels. See pictures below:

It will take serval weeks for the lake level to return to normal even if we don't get any more rain. The Town of Richmond is working on a plan and permit to dredge the shale that is impeding water flow down the Honeoye Outlet Creek around the 20A bridge. Until this can be completed lake levels will recede slowly.

If you go boating on Honeoye Lake while the lake level is this high, please operate your boat at a low enough speed as to not generate a large boat wake that could damage docks that are under water and cause shoreline erosion. Also, be watchful for floating debris.


Wednesday October 27 2021 Storm Update

After raining continuously on Tuesday 10/26 and early morning Wednesday 10/27 the lake level rose ~1.2 feet (~14.4 inches). See lake level graph below:

This has brought the lake level near or over the top of many docks. Our neighbor's dock and boat actually floated a few feet away from shore.

If you are not at your lake home or cottage you should have one of your lake neighbors check on your dock, boats, and house.

If you go boating on Honeoye Lake while the lake level is this high, please operate your boat at a low enough speed as to not generate a large boat wake that could damage docks that are near or under the lake's surface. Also, be watchful for floating debris.


Sunday October 17th 2021 Honeoye Lake Water Quality Update

Surface Water Temperature: 65.1 F

Water Clarity: 8.2 Feet

Lake Level: 803.4 Feet above sea level

Lake Level Relative to Weir: -0.1 Feet

This will be our last weekly Honeoye Lake water quality update for the 2021 season. We plan to put our boats in winter storage next week. We will resume our weekly water quality updates in mid-May 2022. We hope you have found our water quality updates useful and informative. We plan to occasionally post other Honeoye Lake information on our blog over the fall and winter that you will find interesting.

Observations: Sunday (10/17/21), The water clarity has increased ~1.7 feet to 8.2 feet and the surface water temperature has decreased ~0.9 F to 65.1 F over the last week. There was only light Microcystis visible in the water column. We did not see any surface scum. It will not be surprising if isolated near shore blooms continue for a while on hot, sunny, and calm wind days. The lake is definitely in its Fall clearing pattern. This is the second week of increased water clarity. Today was a cold rainy Fall Day with very little fall color yet! See picture to the left:

We took the image to the left of today’s Microcystis (looks like a blob of cells) algae sample using a high-powered microscope. You can Google Microcystis to learn more about it. For more information on Microcystis see the articles at HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS | Honeoye Lake (

The DEC recommends that you, your family, and pets avoid contact with water that contains blue-green algae bloom like Anabaena, Microcystis, and Aphanizomenon. Everyone should be very careful to watch for blue-green algae blooms for the next few weeks.

The lake today (10/17) was isothermal. That is the water temperature from top to bottom was almost identical. The dissolve oxygen was well mixed in the water column too. This was indicated by the temperature and dissolved oxygen lines on the graph to the left converging again. Given that it’s October with colder weather every week it’s unlikely that the lake will completely restratify this Fall. Surface water temperature 65.1 F. Bottom water temperature 64.9 F.

When a lake stratifies and forms a thermocline the decaying organic matter, dead algae and weed fragments, on the lake bottom consumes dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water below the thermocline. When the DO has been completely consumed the phosphorus iron bond in the bottom sediments becomes weak releasing legacy phosphorus into the water near the bottom sediments.

Always use your own visual assessment before making contact with the lake water at this time of year as the blue-green algae situation can change daily if not hourly. Please regularly check the DEC HABs alert map for more detailed updates on Honeoye Lake HABs alerts:

Click on the blue outlined box that says "Log in / Sign up" in the upper right hand corner of this page to sign-up to be notified when we update our weekly Honeoye Lake water quality blog.


Get Out There

By Linda Z Vanderbeck 2021

Four Recreation Areas in the Honeoye Valley

The autumnal equinox has passed, and fall has arrived in the Honeoye Valley! During most mornings, fog hangs over the lake and the air is chilly - you’ll need a jacket or sweater to go outside. Boats and hoists are coming out of the lake, summer visitors are going back to the city, and no one is swimming or tubing now. Admittedly, water recreation on Honeoye Lake has come to a close. But even though you aren’t playing on the lake, be sure you aren’t missing out on the fall season in our beautiful Honeoye Valley.

Four recreation areas located right here in the Honeoye Valley, offer a myriad of outdoor activities where you can admire the forests’ changing colors, observe wildlife, bird watch, go hiking or simply find tranquility in the natural world. Some locations offer organized activities and guided hikes. You can also subscribe to newsletters (see websites) and keep current with conservation news and local initiatives.

Following is a brief introduction to each recreation area along with a link to its website and trail map - get out there!

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area is located in Canadice, NY with nearly 23 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and a snowmobile route. From the road leading into the park, you’ll see the breathtaking panoramic view of Honeoye Lake pictured here. The park is beautiful, dense woodland and boasts the highest spot in Ontario County.

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve can be accessed from either Gulick Road or Wesley Hill Road. Diverse stands of mature forest, a wide array of wildflowers, and sweeping views of the hills surrounding the south end of Honeoye Lake make this site truly special. The hiking trails are very well marked and while on them, you might hear Yellow-Throats, Bluebirds and Song Sparrows, and may even see a deer, fox, or woodchuck.

Cummings Nature Center is on Gulick Road between Honeoye and Naples. You can discover something new each time you visit the Cumming Nature Center from exploring their exhibits to embarking on a nature trail adventure. There is an interpretive center at the site entrance and historical artifacts at Pioneer Cabin and Sugar Shack along the purple trail, and at the Sawmill on the blue trail. A small entrance fee is required.

Sandy Bottom Park is located at the north end of Honeoye Lake off of County Road 36 just south of Route 20A. This park has hiking trails, a picnic pavilion, boardwalk, playgrounds and softball field. Located right here in Honeoye, Sandy Bottom Park is somewhere you can visit often for a brisk walk, quiet nature hike or family outing.


- Click on this link to see the new HLWTF Honeoye Lake Watershed Storm Water Took Kit if you are planning any storm water projects on your property:

- Click on this link for "2021 Honeoye Lake Aeration Engineering Planning Project"

- Click on this link for HLWTF Winter newsletter: e6fc30_ef8d01223f42408ba11b3a7a5f83bebe.pdf

- Click on this link for "2020 Water Quality: What, Why, What's Next"

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