Water and Wildlife

From Hunting and Fishing to Local Water Quality - We've got you covered.


Go Home lake is home to an array of game fish. Available below is a short list of local fish, some information about each one and when it is appropriate to fish for them. Please be advised that it is illegal to fish on Go Home Lake without a valid Outdoors Card with the appropriate fishing tags.

Northern Pike. May 16th - Dec 30th

Northern pike are most often olive green, shading from yellow to white along the belly. The flank is marked with short, light bar-like spots and a few to many dark spots on the fins. Sometimes, the fins are reddish. Younger pike have yellow stripes along a green body; later, the stripes divide into light spots and the body turns from green to olive green. The lower half of the gill cover lacks scales and it has large sensory pores on its head and on the underside of its lower jaw which are part of the lateral line system. Unlike the similar-looking and closely related muskellunge, the northern pike has light markings on a dark body background and fewer than six sensory pores on the underside of each side of the lower jaw.

Walleye. May 16th - Dec 30th

Walleyes are largely olive and gold in color (hence the French common name: doré—golden). The dorsal side of a walleye is olive, grading into a golden hue on the flanks. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles that extend to the upper sides. The color shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth. The first dorsal and anal fins are spinous, as is the Operculum. Walleyes are distinguished from their close cousin the sauger by the white coloration on the lower lobe of the caudal fin which is absent on the sauger. In addition, the two dorsals and the caudal fin of the sauger are marked with distinctive rows of black dots which are absent from or indistinct on the same fins of walleyes

Largemouth Bass. Jun 25th - Nov 30th

The largemouth bass is an olive-green fish, in the North East right after ice-out, it most often has a gray color, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. The upper jaw (maxilla) of a largemouth bass extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. In comparison to age, a female bass is larger than a male. The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded overall length of 29.5 in (75 cm) and a maximum unofficial weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce (11.4 kg). The fish lives 16 years on average (give or take a few years)

Smallmouth Bass. Jun 25th - Nov 30th

The smallmouth bass is generally brown, appearing sometimes as black or green (seldom yellow) with red eyes, and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye. The smallmouth's coloration and hue may vary according to environmental variables such as water clarity or prey diet. Males are generally smaller than Females. The males tend to range around two pounds, while females can range from three to six pounds. Their average sizes can differ, depending on where they are found; those found in American waters tend to be larger due to the longer summers, which allow them to eat and grow for a longer period of time.

Yellow Perch. OPEN ALL YEAR

The yellow perch has a yellow to brass-colored body and distinct pattern, consisting of five to nine olive-green, vertical bars, triangular in shape, on each side. Its fins are lighter in coloration, with an orange hue on the margins. The body is laterally compressed. The anterior portion of the body is deep, gradually tapering into a slender caudal peduncle. The opercle is partially scaled, and a single spine is present on the posterior margin. As with all percid fishes, yellow perch have two dorsal fins. The anterior is convex in shape and consists of 11-15 spines. The posterior dorsal fin has a straight margin, consisting of one or two spines and 12-16 rays. The nape, breast, and belly of yellow perch are all fully scaled. A complete lateral line (50-70 scales) is present. The anal fin consists of two spines and six to nine rays. A single spine and five rays make up the pelvic fins, and the pectoral fins consist of 13-15 rays. The caudal fin of the yellow perch is forked.

Channel Catfish. OPEN ALL YEAR

Channel catfish are the most common of the freshwater catfish and can be easily identified because of their distinctive forked tails and dark spots scattered around the body. These fish are generally more slender and have a smaller heads than other catfish. Of course, channel catfish have the characteristic long barbels, commonly called feelers or whiskers, around the mouth that help them to locate food. The anal fin consists of 24 to 29 rays, further distinguishing it from other catfish. Channel catfish come in many color variations with color depending on location and environmental conditions. One common coloring is gray or grayish-brown on top with dark brown and/or dark green dorsal fins. Others include pale blue and pale olive with a slightly silver tint. Side colors range from yellows to greens to white and there are even albino channel catfish that are white or cream colored with pink eyes. During spawning season, the dorsal area of the male may become completely black, dark blue, light blue, or silver..


Go Home lake is also home to a community of avid hunters. Available below is a short list of local animals and some information about each one, and when it is appropriate to hunt for them. Please be advised that it is illegal to hunt on Go Home Lake without a valid Hunting License and the appropriate game tags. Firearms are also often associated with hunting. Before hunting on Go Home Lake, please be sure to educate yourself on the bylaws surrounding the discharge of firearms in the local area (WMU 46).

Mallard Duck. TBA

The mallard is one of the most recognized of all ducks and is the ancestor of several domestic breeds. Its wide range has given rise to several distinct populations. The male mallard's white neck-ring separates the green head from the chestnut-brown chest, contrasts with the gray sides, brownish back, black rump and black upper- and under-tail coverts. The speculum is violet-blue bordered by black and white, and the outer tail feathers are white. The bill is yellow to yellowish-green and the legs and feet are coral-red. Male utters a soft, rasping "kreep." The female mallard is a mottled brownish color and has a violet speculum bordered by black and white. The crown of the head is dark brown with a dark brown stripe running through the eye. The remainder of the head is lighter brown than the upper body. The bill is orange splotched with brown, and the legs and feet are orange. Female is especially vocal with the characteristic series of quacks.

Goose. TBA

The black head and neck with a white "chinstrap" distinguish the Canada goose from all other goose species, with the exception of the cackling goose and barnacle goose (the latter, however, has a black breast and gray rather than brownish body plumage). The seven subspecies of this bird vary widely in size and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada geese. Some of the smaller races can be hard to distinguish from the cackling goose, which slightly overlap in mass. However, most subspecies of the cackling goose (exclusive of Richardson's cackling goose, B. h. hutchinsii) are considerably smaller. The smallest cackling goose, B. h. minima, is scarcely larger than a mallard. In addition to the size difference, cackling geese also have a shorter neck and smaller bill, which can be useful when small Canada geese comingle with relatively large cackling geese. Of the "true geese" (i.e. the genera Anser or Branta), the Canada goose is on average the largest living species, although some other species that are geese in name, if not of close relation to these genera, are on average heavier such as the spur-winged goose and Cape Barren goose.

White Tail Deer. TBA

The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. The deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail. It will raise its tail when it is alarmed to flag the other deer. A population of white-tailed deer in New York is entirely white (except for areas like their noses and toes)—not albino—in color. The former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, has the largest known concentration of white deer. Strong conservation efforts have allowed white deer to thrive within the confines of the depot. White-tailed deer's horizontally slit pupils allow for good night vision and color vision during the day.

Moose. TBA

Moose are the largest members of the deer family, standing 6 feet tall from hoof to shoulder, and weighing in at over 1000 pounds. Each of their light to dark brown hairs is hollow, and the air trapped inside provides insulation. A flap of skin called a dewlap hangs from the throat. Males are distinguished from females by their antlers that grow up to 6 feet across.

Black Bear. TBA

The skulls of American black bears are broad, with narrow muzzles and large jaw hinges. In Virginia, the total length of adult bear skulls was found to average 262 to 317 mm (10.3 to 12.5 in). Across its range, greatest skull length for the species has been reportedly measured from 23.5 to 35 cm (9.3 to 13.8 in). Females tend to have more slender and pointed faces than males. Their claws are typically black or grayish brown. The claws are short and rounded, being thick at the base and tapering to a point. Claws from both hind and front legs are almost identical in length, though the foreclaws tend to be more sharply curved. The paws of the species are relatively sizeable, with a rear foot length of 13.7 to 22.5 cm (5.4 to 8.9 in), being proportionly larger than other medium-sized bear species but much smaller than the paws of large adult brown and especially polar bears. The soles of the feet are black or brownish, and are naked, leathery and deeply wrinkled. The hind legs are relatively longer than those of Asiatic black bears. The vestigal tail is usually 4.8 inches (12 cm) long. The ears are small and rounded, and are set well back on the head. Black bears are highly dexterous, being capable of opening screw-top jars and manipulating door latches. They also have great physical strength. They have been known to turn over flat-shaped rocks weighing 310 to 325 pounds (141 to 147 kg) by flipping them over with a single foreleg. They move in a rhythmic, sure-footed way and can run at speeds of 25–30 mph (40–50 km/h). Black bears have good eyesight, and have been proven experimentally to be able to learn visual discrimination tasks based on color faster than chimpanzees and as fast as dogs. They are also capable of rapidly learning to distinguish different shapes, such as small triangles, circles and squares.

Small Game. TBA

This applies to various small animals, including but not limited to:

  • rabbits and hares
  • grouse (ruffed, sharp-tailed, spruce)
  • squirrel (gray and fox)
  • Hungarian partridge
  • pheasant
  • ptarmigan
  • raccoon
  • fox (red and Arctic)
  • weasel

Wild Turkey. TBA

Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green legs. The body feathers are generally blackish and dark, sometimes grey brown overall with a coppery sheen that becomes more complex in adult males. Adult males, called toms or gobblers, have a large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles. Juvenile males are called jakes; the difference between an adult male and a juvenile is that the jake has a very short beard and his tail fan has longer feathers in the middle. The adult male's tail fan feathers will be all the same length. When males are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands, and this, the wattles and the bare skin of the head and neck all become engorged with blood, almost concealing the eyes and bill. The long fleshy object over a male's beak is called a snood. Each foot has three toes in front, with a shorter, rear-facing toe in back; males have a spur behind each of their lower legs

Water Quality

Sparatically throughout the year, the association takes water samples from various areas around the lake and send them to be tested for bacteria and contaminents. Below is a small summary of this report.

Seven locations were sampled in Go Home Lake – Control Dam, Blue Lagoon, Four Seasons Bay, Bay of Many Winds, Crystal Bay, Swallow Bay, and Manning Bay.

Conductivity has been very consistence over the years as seen in Table 6 and from the inlet at Swallow Bay (54.0 µS/cm) to the outlet at the Control Dam (52.8 µS/cm). Manning Bay, at 40.9 µS/cm, receives additional flows from Irving Lake

Go Home Lake

2015 Water Quality Results

Water Quality Indicators Top
Mean 2005-2014 Control Dam Blue Lagoon Four Seasons Bay Bay of Many Winds Crystal Bay Swallow Bay Manning Bay Mean 2015
Conductivity (µS/cm) Top 49.8 52.8 52.8 52.3 53.0 53.1 54.0 40.9 51.3
Bottom 35.2 44.5
Secchi Disk (M) 4.8 4.6 4.2 5.2 4.0 4.3 3.6 4.1 4.3
Total Phophorous (µg/L) Top 9.9 6.1 5.6 11.5 7.7 9.4 8.9 9.6 8.4
Bottom 15.5 7.1 24.8
6.5 6.2
6.1 6.9

*MOEC-TP: Ministry of the Enviornment and Climate Change - Total Phosphorous

Clarity ranged from a high of 5.2 m. in Four Seasons Bay to a low of 3.6 m. in Swallow Bay for an across lake mean of 4.3 m. This is similar to the long term mean of 4.8 m.

TP values varied from a low of 6.1 µg/L at the Control Dam to a high of 11.5 µg/L in Four Seasons Bay. However, overall, the 2015 mean TP of 8.4 µg/L was lower then the long term mean of 9.9 µg/L. The overall Districts Watershed TP mean for Go Home Lake is 6.7 µg/L.

Manning Bay’s bottom waters (24.8µg/L) continues to be comparable to 23 µg/L in 2005, ten years ago.

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