Welcome to Quabbin Reservoir, the principal drinking water supply for 2.2 million Massachusetts residents. Since 1946, shore fishing has been allowed at the reservoir, and since 1952 a limited boat fishing program has been in existence. Please help preserve your fishing privileges and protect Quabbin's resources by following all rules and regulations.
All private boats launched on the reservoir must now have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal that certifies the craft has gone through a DCR approved decontamination process. Seals must be intact when the boats are inspected by Boat Launch Area attendants prior to launching. For a schedule of boat inspections/cleanings, call the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221.
- Security Issues
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- Boat Rental Info
- Canoe and Kayaks
- Boat Launch Fees
- Boating Regulations
- Outboard Motor Size Limits
- Reservoir Boat Fishing
- Shore Fishing
- Stream Fishing
- Pond Fishing
- Fishing Advisory
- Stop Invasive Species
- Rest Room Facilities
- Bait and Tackle
- Loons and Eagles
- A Unique Resource
- Fishing Facts
- Telephone Numbers
The 2015 Quabbin Fishing Season runs from April 18 to October 17.
Boat launch areas are open seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. until closing. From April 18 – May 4 the areas close at 8:00 p.m.; from May 5 – August 3 at 8:30 p.m.; from August 4 – August 24 at 8:00 p.m.; from August 25 - September 7 at 7:30 p.m.; and at 6:30 p.m. for the remainder of the season.
Shore fishing is open 7 days a week for the season. “Boats Off the Water” times are seasonally adjusted with times posted at each boat launch area; it is approximately 1½ hours before closing.
All persons over 15 years must have a valid MA fishing/sporting license or a Quabbin Fishing License.
One-day Quabbin Fishing Licenses are available for purchase at the boat launch areas and on the Department of Fish and Game’s website for $5.00.
Quabbin Fishing Licenses are limited to the designated shore and boat fishing areas on Quabbin Reservoir during the Quabbin Fishing Season.
Notify officials if anything seems out of the ordinary.
Report violations of DCR Regulations, suspicious activities or abnormal environmental conditions to DCR Rangers or the MA State Police.
Boat Launch Area attendants monitor Marine Band Radio Channel 16 on a routine basis.
National security conditions may require the temporary closure of the watershed to all public access.
Notices will be posted at all access points if closure is necessary.
Quabbin Watershed Ranger – Mobile: (617) 828-2452
MA State Police-Quabbin: 413-323-7561
Quabbin Visitor Center: 413-323-7221
Hours of Operation:
|April 18 - May 4||6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.|
|May 5 - August 3||6:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.|
|August 4 - August 24||6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.|
|August 25 - September 7||6:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.|
|September 8 - October 17||6:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.|
Boats Off the Water times are 1½ hours before closing.
Oars, gas, life preservers are supplied for each boat rental.
All Boat Launch Areas are open seven days a week for the season.
To Rent a Boat:
You must be 16 years or older.
You must have a valid MA fishing/sporting license or a Quabbin Fishing License.
Boats are rented First Come-First Serve.
Payments MUST be in cash.
No bills larger than $50.
Rentals before 12:30 p.m. pay full day rate.
DCR Quabbin Boat Seal
Chock blocks on vehicle when removing boat.
Rubber boots when launching and removing boat from the reservoir.
Safety equipment in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard Regulations.
Quabbin Boat Seal Program
All private boats must have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal (QBS) to launch on the reservoir. Seals can be obtained through a DCR approved decontamination and inspection process. Click here for a 2016 Quabbin Boat Seal Schedule . To make an appointment, please call the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221.
- Seals must be intact when arriving at the reservoir for launching.
- DCR personnel will inspect QBS, then break it before launching.
- As boats are removed from the reservoir, it will be sealed to the trailer by the attendant.
- Tampering with QBS is a violation of DCR Rules and Regulations and will result in loss of Quabbin fishing privileges and possible fines.
- Quabbin Boat Seal Program FAQ
Due to concerns with aquatic invasive species being carried from one water body to another, private canoes and kayaks are no longer allowed to be launched at Quabbin Reservoir. However canoe and kayak rentals are available on a first come-first serve basis at Boat Launch areas #2 and #3 for use on the regulating ponds at those areas. All boating regulations for Quabbin Reservoir apply to these craft.
All private boats must now go through a DCR approved decontamination process and have an intact seal to be allowed on the Quabbin Reservoir. For a schedule of boat inspections/cleanings, call the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221 or go to Quabbin Boat Seal Schedule .
|Parking and Fishing Access|
Vehicle and Trailer* $8.00
|Seasonal Parking Pass |
|Boat Only Rental|
Full day $14.00
|Boat and Motor Rental|
Full day $40.00
|Senior Citizens (62 and older)|
Parking and Season Pass
Half Price weekdays
|Handicapped (with placard)|
Parking and Season Pass
*Parking for vehicle and trailer includes all launching fees
**Afternoon rental starts at 12:30 p.m.
No bills larger than $50 will be accepted.
All private boats must have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal linking the boat to trailer.
The Quabbin Boat Seal will be broken by the Fishing Area Attendant before the boat is launched. The boat will be resealed to the trailer upon exit from the boat launch area.
DCR Rental Boats are limited to 10 horsepower (hp) maximum.
All boats must be at least 12 feet long and in compliance with MA boating laws.
Boats may carry a maximum of 4 people.
Jon boats larger than 14’ 6” in length are limited to 3 persons; between 12’ and 14’ 6” are limited to 2 persons.
Canoes are limited to 2 persons; kayaks are limited to 1 person.
Boats must be returned at posted times.
No Boats may be launched within 2 hours of the posted “Boats Off the Water” times.
Boats must be operated at a safe and reasonable speed.
Persons under 16 years MUST be accompanied by an adult.
Flashlights or a cyalume chemical stick are recommended in the event you need to be rescued.
Anchors are not provided for Rental Boats, but may be brought for use with the boats.
Beaching is for rest room facility use only. Ten-minute limit per boat
DCR Rental Boats are limited to 10 horsepower (hp) maximum.
Private motors used on DCR Rental Boats must have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal.
Two-Stroke Engines - Private boats with two-stroke engines are limited to one-half the Boating Industries of America (BIA) or Outboard Boating Council (OBC) hp rating of the boat up to a maximum of 20 hp.
Four-Stroke-Engines - Private boats with four-stroke engines are limited to one-half the Boating Industries of America (BIA) or Outboard Boating Council (OBC) hp rating of the boat up to a maximum of 25 hp.
Private boats may use two motors provided the total combined horsepower does not exceed the horsepower limits above.
Combined four-stroke and two-stroke engines may not exceed 20 hp total.
25 horsepower two-stroke motors are not allowed.
Boat Launching Area #1
Gate 8, located in Pelham off Route 202, 4 1/2 miles north of the intersection with Route 9. This area is considered prime for coldwater fish such as trout and salmon. (lat = 42.3504361531, lon = -72.4004192964)
Boat Launching Area #2 - The Robert D. Wetmore Fishing Area
Gate 31, located in New Salem off Route 122, just south of the intersection with Route 202. This area provides a great variety of warmwater fish in addition to trout and salmon.
(lat = 42.523628291, lon = -72.2874936747)
Boat Launching Area #3 - The Stephen M. Brewer Fishing Area
Gate 43, located in Hardwick off Greenwich Road, west of Route 32A. This area offers excellent warmwater fishing, in addition to trout and salmon.
(lat = 42.3736137854, lon= -72.2340525483)
Access is permitted during daylight hours along designated shorelines from Gates 8 to 16A, and from Gates 22 to 44.
Vehicles parked in front of gates will be towed at the owner's expense.
Bicycle access is permitted only on designated roads between Gates 29 and 35, and at Gates 40, 43A, 43B & 44.
Gate 8 bike access is permitted only April 18 - October 17, 2014.
Parking fees apply to shore fishing at Boat Launch Areas.
Night access is allowed with a valid permit at Gates 16, 31, 33, 35, 41 and 43 during the Quabbin Fishing Season.
Permit applications are available at the Quabbin Visitor Center and the DCR web site.
No fires are permitted at any time.
Call the Quabbin Visitor Center for further details: (413) 323-7221.
Quabbin Reservation - (DCR land within Rts. 202, 122, 32A & 9): Fishing is permitted during the Quabbin Fishing Season on tributaries which enter the reservoir along shorelines open for fishing.
Off-Reservation - (DCR land outside Rts. 202, 122, 32A & 9): Fishing is permitted during the regular State Fishing Season.
Swift River below Winsor Dam: The Swift River from Winsor Dam "Y Pool" to Route 9 is open year-round to fly fishing on a catch and release basis. A "No Trespassing Zone" has been established around the Power Station where all public access is prohibited.
Carry-in boat access and use is allowed on South Spectacle and Bassett ponds.
Boat fishing is allowed on Pepper's Mill Pond with non-motorized, carry-in boats.
Allowed on certain ponds in Off-Reservation areas (DCR land outside Rts. 202, 122, 32A & 9) with restrictions.
The DCR and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have issued a health advisory for persons consuming Quabbin fish.
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 or ask the attendant for further information. You may also click here for the Department of Public Health’s complete list of fish consumption advisories.
Aquatic invasive species can be spread from one water body to another in boats and trailers, and on fishing equipment. These aggressive invasive species displace local plants and animals, negatively impacting local ecosystems, water quality, and fishing. To minimize the spread of these species please take these precautionary steps:
- Clean your equipment of any plant fragments or animals before transporting.
- Dispose of material far away from water bodies.
- Eliminate water from equipment before transporting.
- Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water unless they came from that water body.
- All boats launched at Quabbin Reservoir must have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal upon arrival. The boat is resealed to the trailer by the Boat Launch Attendant upon removal from the reservoir.
- For more information, visit www.mass.gov/lakesandponds or Protect Your Waters.
In order to address sanitary concerns for the fishing program, the DCR has placed temporary rest room facilities at sites throughout the Quabbin Reservation. These sites are marked with white buoys in the water near the landing areas. Please protect Quabbin's water by using the facilities and obeying the following regulations:
Portable toilets are marked with white buoys.
Beaching is permitted between the signs, only at designated sites (see Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Map ).
Ten-minute limit per boat.
- No boating beyond marked limits
- No lead fishing sinkers, weights- or jigs
- No landing of boats on shoreline or islands except at designated areas.
- No swimming or wading
- No dogs or other animals
- No feeding wildlife
- No camping
- No fires
- No alcoholic beverages
- No disposal of materials in the reservoir or reservation
- No acts that pollute the water supply
- No pontoon boats, inflatable boats or sailboats
Bait shops are located near the Boat Launch Areas in Pelham, Belchertown, Ware and Orange.
Live bait may be used.
Smelt bait is legal only AFTER May 15.
Chumming is Prohibited
Quabbin Reservoir is one of the few places in Massachusetts where Common Loons and Bald Eagles are known to consistently nest. These birds can easily be disturbed during the nesting season and many abandon their nests if approached too closely. Loons as well as eagles can become entangled in monofilament fishing line and wire leaders. Line and leaders have been found in Quabbin Bald Eagle nests and could kill young eagles. To protect these special birds, please obey the following:
Dispose of fishing line and sinkers properly.
Put tangled monofilament line in your pocket or tackle box and dispose of properly.
Use non-toxic weights, sinkers and jigs instead of lead, which are now banned at the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs.
Stay well away from nest sites.
Do not land boats on islands or shorelines.
Steer boats away from swimming loons or perched eagles.
Respect "Wildlife Research Areas" posted with signs or marked with red buoys.
Read and obey notices posted at Boat Launch Areas.
State and federal laws protecting loons and eagles are strictly enforced.
For further information on Fishing Sinker, Weight and Jig Regulations, please refer to the notices posted at Boat Launch Areas information boards or the new regulation summaries on the Division of Fish and Game web site
For further information on Fishing Sinker Regulations, please refer to the notices posted at Boat Launch Areas information boards.
Be considerate in your use of land and water.
Know and obey DCR DWSP rules and regulations.
Report violators to:
Watershed Rangers at (617) 828-2452 (mobile)
State Police - Quabbin at (413) 323-7561
Fishing area attendants
Violations of DCR/DWSP regulations are punishable by fines up to $50,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year. Rule violations may result in the loss of fishing privileges. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 92A½, Section 9)
Quabbin's fishery is comprised of both coldwater species (trout and salmon) and warmwater species (bass, pickerel, perch, and bullhead). Most of the deep coldwater species occur on Quabbin's west arm, accessible from Gate #8 (Boat Launch Area #1). Deep water fishing is also available on the main part of the reservoir, but Gate #31 (Area #2) and Gate #43 (Area #3) also provide access to shallower waters which are better for warmwater fishing.
|Species||Creel Number||Minimum Size||State Record|
|Lake Trout||2||18"||24 lbs. 10 oz.|
|Brown Trout*||3**||none||19 lbs. 10 oz.|
|Rainbow Trout*||3**||none||13 lbs. 0 oz.|
|Brook Trout*||3**||none||6 lbs. 4 oz.|
|Landlocked Salmon||2||15"||10 lbs. 5 oz.|
|Chain Pickerel||5||15"||9 lbs. 5 oz.|
|Largemouth Bass**||5||12"||15 lbs. 8 oz.|
|Smallmouth Bass**||5||12"||8 lbs. 2 oz.|
* Total daily creel is three (3) trout for this group.
** Total daily creel is five (5) bass for this group.
For information on state park camping call (617) 727-3180. For information on private campgrounds call (617) 727-3201 or visit http://www.allstays.com/Campgrounds/Massachusetts-private-campgrounds-map.htm
Available near the three Boat Launch Areas in Orange, Athol, Ware, and Amherst and near the turnpike access in Chicopee.
MA State Police - Quabbin: (413) 323-7561
Quabbin Watershed Ranger - Mobile: (617) 828-2452
Quabbin Administration Office: (413) 323-6921
Quabbin Visitor Center: (413) 323-7221
Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife