Conesus Lake is fed by 18 tributaries and a number of smaller streams and rivulets (Forest et al. 1978). The terrain in the watershed is characterized by gentle slopes at the northern outlet and southern inlet areas. Steep hilly slopes characterize the flanks and southern portion of the watershed. For example, from the middle third of the lake to the southern end of the watershed, the lake and valley are flanked by steep slopes exceeding 45 percent. The soils of the Conesus Lake watershed are mostly derived from locally-occurring shale and sandstone bedrock material that has been reworked by glacial action (Bloomfield 1978). Towards the north of the watershed, limestone materials transported by the glaciers from the central NY limestone belt influence the soil. This influence is less as one moves south, and in general, soils are more agriculturally productive to the north of the watershed compared with the south (Stout 1970). The soils vary widely in other properties of significance to land use management and water quality impacts. Many of the soils are highly susceptible to erosion, presenting the risk of sediment or sediment-borne nonpoint source pollution. Other soils are poorly drained, which make them likely to be important surface runoff generation areas. They are also risk zones for generation of nonpoint source pollution. Overall, the soils of this watershed present a diverse and complicated mosaic of management imperatives – they prescribe land use decisions at the field scale.
Makarewicz, Joseph C.; Lewis, Theodore W.; and Severson, ChristiAnn, "Conesus Lake 2008: Baseline Data on the Stream Bank Restoration Project, Update on Water Quality of USDA Monitored Watersheds" (2008). Technical Reports. 34.