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Formed by ancient glaciers, Lake Ronkonkoma is the largest and perhaps best known of Long Island's freshwater lakes.
Portions of its irregular basin are unusually deep for Long Island 65 feetbut most of the lake is less than 15 feet deep. Elevation: 55 feet Area: acres Shoreline Length: 2. The DEC maintains an angler parking area and a concrete boat ramp off of Victory Drive on the west side of the lake. This site is always open for boat launching and fishing.
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No special permit is needed to launch a boat or fish from the site. Due to its proximity to some of the best habitat in the lake, the fishing pier is highly recommended as a shore fishing spot. Seasonal parking fees may apply.
Additionally seasonal park fees may apply for parking in certain locations. For more information about hours of operation and park fees call the Lake Ronkonkoma County Park at Make a right onto Victory Drive. The boat launch entrance, marked with a wooden DECwill appear on your left.
Restrictions: Boats are permitted but may only be launched from the DEC boat launch. Electric trolling motors are a allowed; gas motors are prohibited.
Shoreline access is available. As a rule of thumb, it is unproductive to fish deeper than 15 feet in Lake Ronkonkoma because there is seldom enough dissolved oxygen to sustain fish beyond this depth.
The primary gamefish are largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Lake Ronkonkoma holds large bass, but locating them is a challenge due to the scarcity of natural structure to attract these fish. Stumps have been placed into the lake for habitat enhancement see below.
Chain pickerel are extremely rare. In the last two decades, white perch and yellow perch populations have increased to the point of upsetting the ecological balance of the lake.
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To control these species, the DEC began stocking walleye in Walleye over 27 inches long can be caught and provide a good targeted fishery. For more information on this species see the walleye fact sheet. PDF Lake Ronkonkoma also contains sunfish and crappie though large specimens are not common.
Special regulations apply.
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Scroll to the bottom of the for Long Island freshwater waterbodies. On a frosty December morning, a crowd of anglers, conservation professionals and curious onlookers cheered as a UH Blackhawk helicopter from the New York Army National Guard airlifted over weighted hardwood tree stumps and dropped them into Lake Ronkonkoma. This seemingly odd activity was part of a project to construct submerged reefs. The stumps sink to the bottom of the lake, where they provide fish with places to feed, rest and hide. Fishing is an important recreational activity at Lake Ronkonkoma.
A DEC study conducted during the summer of estimated that anglers spent more than 13, hours fishing at the lake between May and October. For several years, DEC fisheries staff and members of the Bassmasters wanted to supplement scarce fish habitat and improve fishing in the lake but had no practical means of moving the extremely heavy stumps.
The Lake Ronkonkoma project provided an opportunity for troops based at MacArthur Airport to train in slingload operations--a necessary skill for Blackhawk aviators and crews. Instead of merely moving objects around at a military installation, crews received training while simultaneously providing a service to the people of Long Island.
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