This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Gennesaret, Or Genesareth, Lake of, called also the sea of Chinnereth (Heb. Yam Kinne-reth), the sea of Galilee, the sea of Tiberias, and by the Arabs Bahr Tubariyeh, situated in Palestine, 65 m. N. of the Dead sea. The lake is pear-shaped; the greatest width is 6 3/4 m. from Mejdel (Magdala) to Khersa (Gergesa); the extreme length is 15 m. The Jordan enters it muddy at the north, and passes out pure and bright at the south. The water of the lake is clear and sweet, except near the salt springs and where it is defiled by the drainage of Tiberias. In the basin of the lake are a number of warm springs, which are said to have increased in volume and temperature after the earthquake of 1837, which laid Tiberias in ruins. The lake does not appear to be of volcanic origin, but simply part of the great Jordan depression. The surrounding hills are of a uniform brown color, and are limestone, capped in places with basalt; they are recessed from the shore, or rise very gradually from it, and not very high. Its level, which varies at different times of the year, is between 600 and 700 ft. below that of the Mediterranean. There is little variety or beauty in its natural features, and the interest connected with it springs from its associations, especially from the fact that much of the public life of Christ was spent on its shores.
The lake abounded with the choicest kinds of fish, as it does now, and the southern portion especially was a noted fishing ground. Populous cities and villages then flourished around it, as Tiberias, Magdala, Capernaum, Chorazin, the two Bethsaidas, Gama-la, and Hippos, almost all of which are now uninhabited ruins.
Lake of Gennesaret.