Canandaigua Lake Water Monitoring Program

Monitoring Canandaigua Lake has been ongoing since 1997.  Water quality samples are collected April through December and tested for  Water Quality.

Watershed Tributary Study

Monitored 17 tributaries during 55 storm events from 1997-2000. Ongoing tributary chloride sampling. Partners included: SUNY Brockport (tributary sampling program from 1997-2000), FLCC- Bruce Gilman tributary chloride sampling (1996- present), Watershed Association and Watershed Inspector. Link to Study.

Watershed Landcover Mapping

Landcover mapping of the entire watershed was completed using the Natural Heritage Classification System. Partners: FLCC (Bruce Gilman), County Planning, RIT interns, Watershed Council and FLLOWPA.

Natural Capitol Study

Watershed Council obtained funding, hired an RIT grad student and provides coordination for the Natural Capital Study. Partners include Watershed Association and Dr. Bruce Gilman at FLCC.

Boat Carrying Capacity Study

An in-depth analysis of the current peak boat usage on the lake and recommendations for appropriate boat capacity based on four different methodologies. Link to Study.

Stressed Stream Analysis

Conducted stressed stream analysis on several streams including Sucker Brook, Fall Brook, Vine Valley.  Also conduct visual inspections of watersheds during storm events. Partners included: SUNY Brockport, FLCC, Watershed Association and Watershed Inspector.

Additional Research

  • City Storm Sewer System Mapping Project and the drainage areas that influence each outlet. Partnered with City to complete project.
  • 2006 LiDAR contour mapping of the Yates County portion of the watershed- to match the Ontario County mapping.
  • Macrophyte Study- initial investigation at potential Hydrilla Hotspots (boat launches and marinas). Partner: Dr. Bruce Gilman
  • Water Supply Study with the City of Canandaigua- provided substantial assistance on Water Supply Study as part of the City Water Supply Permit- Completed Mass Balance Model/Report, three year Canandaigua Outlet monitoring and report along with assisting DEC on completing Part III of the EAF.
  • Watershed Council partnered with IAGT to complete Non-point source pollution model through IAGT.


The K-12 Watershed Education Program

The Watershed Education Program’s environmental educators have worked closely with K-12 teachers to develop a variety of hands-on, activity based workshops focused on watershed topics that meet NYS Science Standards and local school district teaching objectives. Learn More.

Storm Drain Marking Program

The Watershed Council and CLWA partner together to work with local schools and youth service groups to place markers on storms drains within the Canandaigua Lake Watershed boundaries.  This project is critical to educating the public about the direct connection between stormwater runoff and lake water quality. Learn More.

Watershed Boundary Signs

Watershed Council created and installed new Watershed boundary signs on local/county and state roads.

Educational Kiosks

Watershed Council developed and installed four educational kiosks around the lake that review the importance of Watershed Management, stormwater impacts and threats and what individuals can do.

Community Outreach

Getting information out to the general public and raising awareness about water quality issues and solutions is vital to protecting the Canandaigua Lake watershed.  Issues include water-friendly lawn and landscaping practices, storm water management practices and invasive species awareness. Learn More.


Sucker Brook Dredging Project

Over 8.4 million pounds of slightly contaminated sediment were removed from a section of Sucker Brook between Parrish Street and 5 and 20 Bypass. Material was brought to landfill and used as daily cover. Watershed Council coordinated the project and partnered with County, Town and City to complete project. Improved water quality and reduced potential upstreaming flooding. Grant funding through DOS.

Canandaigua City School District Stormwater Wetland

Created two- acre stormwater wetland on Canandaigua City School District Pearl Street property. Stormwater wetlands created to solve flooding problems at Primary School- 17 classrooms flooded on two occasions. Partnered with Town, County, School and City. Grant funding through DOS

Deuel Road Stormwater Management Facility

Town of Canandaigua created the Deuel Road stormwater management facility in partnership with the local farmer and Watershed Council to reduce flood related damage to Deuel Road.

Canandaigua YMCA Bio-Retention Facility

Watershed Council obtained grant funding, coordinated efforts and provided the in-kind assistance to work with county, town and city forces to build the bio-retention area.

Fall Brook Stream Bank Stabilization Project

Watershed Council designed and coordinated the Fall Brook/ Canandaigua Country Club stream stabilization project (1,200 feet both sides). Partnered with Town of Canandaigua Highway Department to complete work.

Lagoon Park Habitat Restoration Plan

Watershed Council worked with several partners to create the Lagoon Park Habitat Restoration Plan. Provided significant planting assistance and applied for two grants to help pay to implement the plan. Partners include: Botanical Society, City, Watershed Association, Soil and Water and FLCC students.

Additional Projects

  • Sucker Brook stream restoration/stabilization projects- partnered with County, Town and City to complete the projects. Grant funding through DOS.
  • Middlesex Highway Garage bio retention area- partnered with the Highway Department and Watershed Association.
  • Obtained grant funding to assist City of Canandaigua in purchase of a Street Sweeper.
  • Antis Street Parking Lot Bio-Retention project- partnered with the City of Canandaigua.
  • Village of Rushville Walking Trail and stream stabilization along West River. Watershed Council assisted in obtaining grant funding and volunteer assistance in trail clearing.
  • Design and permit assistance on several FEMA projects (Bills Road, Shoreline stabilization projects, culvert sizing and replacement.
  • Menteth Creek/Goodale Road partnership with farmer, NRCS and Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program to restore 1,000 + feet of stream using logs, vegetation and some stone.
  • DEC and Trout Unlimited completed substantial stream bank stabilization projects in Naples Creek to promote fish habitat and protect water quality. Watershed Council participated in the Willow Planting Project.
  • Watershed Council assisted with the Onanda Park/Barnes Gully dredging project and Boat Launch stabilization in partnership with the Town of Canandaigua.
  • Watershed Council partnered with Ontario County County Public Works and Highway Department to complete the Grimes Creek/County Road 36 bank stabilization project- 350 feet. Grant funding purchased the stone and plantings that were utilized.

Open Space Protection

Finger Lakes Land Trust

Finger Lakes Land Trust has acquired numerous properties and conservation easements throughout watershed totaling close to 900 acres. They have also provided project assistance on numerous projects.

Open Space Funds from Municipalities

Town of Canandaigua and Town of Gorham have dedicated open space funds to protect high priority lands which have been utilized on several locations. Watershed Council and other partners provided seed funding to Finger Lakes Land Trust for open space acquisition in Gorham, Middlesex and Naples.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy obtained land adjacent to Hi-Tor (Parrish Flats Road) and transferred it to NYS. They also manage other land within the watershed.


Land use regulations such as zoning, subdivision, site plan review, building codes, stormwater and floodplain management, onsite wastewater and are just a few ways municipalities can ensure development and human activity minimally impact the lake. These regulations are particularly important for reducing non-point source pollution. The municipalities have primary land use control in New York State. The Watershed Council provides assistance to the municipalities in developing regulations and technical assistance in implementing regulations.