Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York


For the Truesdale Fishing Tag Application Form, click here.

For the Spring 2020 fishing survey report, click here.


Truesdale is a private lake. Fishing is allowed for association residents and their guests only. Resident must accompany guests when fishing. Anyone fishing on the lake must have a Truesdale Lake Fishing Tag on their person when fishing.

Any person age 16 or older is required to have a NY State Fishing License and it must be on their person while fishing. License must be presented upon request of a ECO or police officer.

New York State law says “A fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older, whether the lake is accessible to the public or not.” (page 8, NY State Fishing Guide).

That means all people fishing on Truesdale Lake must:

  1. Be a lake association and/or riparian resident (or a guest accompanied by a resident)
  2. Have a Truesdale Lake Fishing Tag
  3. Have a NY State Fishing License.

Fishing is possible from private shoreline, private docks, lake association properties, or from resident boats with resident boat registration stickers.

During the lake drawdown process the are fishing restrictions that apply to protect the siphons and the people working on the siphons from injury: Fishing is prohibited between the posted signs on either side of the bridge and from the exposed lakebed.

Fishing is NEVER ALLOWED AT ANY TIME in any season on the recreational swimming beach properties that are owned by the associations. Fishing tackle is a hazard that does not co-exist well with bare feet. Use common sense and be safe.

Please fully remove snagged fishing tackle and line from the lake and shoreline. Left behind it can and does kill wildlife, damages the lake ecology, and creates hazards for humans, pets, and wildlife.

Don’t leave fishing debris and garbage behind when you are packing up for the day. Take it with you. Residents are very aware of boaters and groups and who are on the lake. Your fellow residents enjoy seeing people use the lake respectfully. However those who abuse the lake and environment quickly become known and unpopular.

Fishing Rules at Lake Truesdale

Truesdale Lake is a private lake with no non-resident access allowed.

All property around the lake — including the dam and association owned property — is private.

If you are not a resident, or guest of a resident (accompanied by the resident), there is no place to legally fish in the waters of Truesdale Lake.

If you are a resident and you see someone in a boat without the proper lake permit sticker — and determine they are not a resident with access to the lake — please inform them politely that they are trespassing and they should leave. If they do not leave, try to determine where they came in and if they have a car. Jot down the license plate number if they have a car and call the Lewisboro Police and report the trespass. The Police can take it from there. We do not encourage confrontations. We feel that if you are right and they are wrong then the situation will get sorted out.

Why such a restrictive sounding attitude? We already pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to control invasive plants on the lake. Having illegal boats trespass on the lake brings the very real possibility of introducing more invasive species — both plant and animal — into the Truesdale Lake ecosystem.

It may sound harsh, but so is an extra ten thousand dollars needed to eradicate a new invasive and destructive plant species not seen before in the lake. Local dues-paying residents should not have to clean up environmental problems caused by irresponsible trespassers. 

Fish Found at Truesdale Lake

There are some good size largemouth bass, crappies, perch, and sunfish in the lake. There have been a few pickerel caught over the years.

Ice fishing can very productive and fun. Mainly catch yellow perch during the winter.

Fish life is abundant at the lake and residents have much success with many different types of bait and lures.

Note on Fish Health

Each spring at the lake edges you will see signs of Sunfish spawning. The sunfish create circular ‘nests’ by fanning away debris and exposing the rocks or sand below. They aggressively defend these nests from others in the water, including humans. If you have ever been wading in the water of Truesdale Lake and been rammed in the legs by a sunfish when you get too close to their nest you will know what I mean. They look small but you will be in for a surprise when they swim into your legs.

Another occasional spring and early summer sight is dead sunfish along the bank. Based on information from the Connecticut DEP, we can say that this is a natural part of the sunfish life cycle, affecting the weaker fish during and after spawning.

from the story here:

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the city said the problem appears to strictly involve sunfish, noting there are other fish, birds and turtles at the pond showing no ill effects. The DEP said that happens every year in New Britain and other parts of the state, to varying degrees, because it’s the spawning season for the species.

“The sunfish have a virus or bacteria when they spawn,” Parks and Recreation Commission Director Bill DeMaio said. “I’m told that they don’t eat properly and they become less healthy, just like human beings would be if you didn’t eat, and they pass the bacteria to each other.”

Fish deaths can also be caused in a number of other ways. Smaller fish can be chased into shallow water by larger predators and get stuck in weeds and unable to get free. Also, in warmer months, the oxygen levels of the lake go down as the water heats up. This causes the weaker fish to die off.

Truesdale Lake has tens of thousands of fish all different sizes. Our former lake manager, Allied Biological, has said that dead fish are nothing to get alarmed about in small quantities (10+ on a typical waterfront) and are normal for lakes (especially at the end of a spawn or in the dog days of August). However, if you notice dead fish in larger quantities (over 100) then there may be something else going on and please let our lake management committee know.

(page here: original writeup here: