Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930's by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Four towns were flooded in the Swift River Valley - namely Dana, North Dana, Greenwich, and Enfield.
Construction of the reservoir remains a great engineering feat, and Quabbin is one of the largest unfiltered water supplies in the world. The reservoir is 18 miles long and has 181 miles of shoreline including 61 miles along the reservoir's 60 islands. Quabbin collects as run-off an average of one-half of the water that falls as rain or snow on the watershed. When full, the reservoir holds 412 billion gallons of water.
The Quabbin Reservoir is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Water Supply Protection (formerly Metropolitan District Commission). The Quabbin Visitor's Center is located at the southern tip of the Reservoir.Phone number is (413) 323-7221. The link above will provide information on rules, regulations, access and more.
Quabbin Fishing Facts
The reservoir supports 27 species of fish, 17 of which are sought by
anglers. Lake trout fishing is best during the first month of the season,
declining slowly until mid September, when it improves till the end
of the season. This species can be caught anywhere in April and early
May, but gradually moves deeper and south as the season progresses.
By mid July the only lake trout harvest occurs near the barrels on the
Gate 8 side.
Landlocked salmon fishing is best in early May, declining quickly by late June. Some large individuals are taken in the fall, near stream mouths.
The next spring species is the smallmouth bass. The good fishing begins in mid May as the adults "stake out" spawning sites. Action declines quick by the end of June, when the young leave the nest. Overall, anglers catch between 35 and 50,000 smallmouths per year, with the catch being spread throughout the reservoir.
The other major fishery involves ½ to 1½ lb white perch. As the white perch move south in late June, serious anglers switch to Mepps spinners tipped with a piece of worm. Skilled anglers can harvest 50 to 100 of these large, white perch in a good day.
Summary of Fishing Regulations and Records
Anyone 15 or older who is fishing, must have a valid Massachusetts Fishing/Sporting License or a $ 5.00 One-Day, Quabbin Only, Fishing License.
|Species||Creel Number||Minimum Size||State Record|
|Lake Trout||5 (4/1) *||none||22 lbs. 10oz.|
|Brown Trout **||none||19 lbs. 10oz.|
|Rainbow Trout **||3 **||none||13 lbs. 0oz.|
|Brook Trout **||none||6 lbs. 4oz.|
|Landlocked Salmon||2||15"||10 lbs. 5oz.|
|Chain Pickerel||5||15"||9 lbs. 5oz.|
|Largemouth Bass ***||5 ***||12"||15 lbs. 8oz.|
|Smallmouth Bass ***||12"||8 lbs. 2oz.|
|All Others||none||none||8 lbs. 2oz.|
* Creel can contain 4 Lake Trout less than 20" and 1 greater
than 23". No harvest between 20" and 23" inclusive.
** Total daily creel is three (3) trout for this group.
*** Total daily creel is five (5) bass for this group.
Fish Consumption Advisory
The DCR and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have issued a health advisory for persons consuming fish harvested from Quabbin Reservoir. The advisory recommends limiting or eliminating consumption of certain species of fish due to elevated levels of mercury found in fish samples. Water testing results indicate that mercury has not affected the drinking water and its suitability for human consumption. Please consult the complete fishing advisory posted on the bulletin boards at the boat launch areas, ask the attendant for further information or visit the Massachusetts Public Health fact sheet.
The north and west ends of the reservoir can be accessed via Route 2 to Route 202 in Orange. The southern end can be reached from the Mass. Turnpike at Palmer by following the signs to Route 181 and then proceeding north to the junction with Route 202 or Route 9 eastward. The east side of the reservoir is accessible from Route 9, by taking Route 32 north from Ware and then following Route 32A. This same area can be reached from the north off of Route 202 via Route 122 to Route 32A in Petersham.
As with Wachusett reservoir, Gates are numbered in a clockwise direction starting at the west end of Winsor Dam and ending at the east end of Goodnough Dike.