The Wachusett fishing season operates from the first Saturday in April, providing no ice is present, and runs until November 30.

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The Wachusett Reservoir together with the Quabbin Reservoir provides the water supply for over forty cities and towns within the Commonwealth. The Sudbury Reservoir is the system's reserve, or backup, supply. The land surrounding the reservoirs is managed by the DCR Division of Water Supply Protection, Office of Watershed Management in order to protect the quality of the reservoir water, enhance the ecological integrity and ensure the future protection of these valuable natural resources from pollution, encroachment and environmentally damaging public use.

DCR permits Shore Fishing Only at the Wachusett and Sudbury Reservoirs from dawn to dusk daily during the fishing season.


The 2017 fishing season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 1. Hours are from dawn to dusk daily.


  • All persons over 15 years must have a valid MA fishing/sporting license.

Wachusett Reservoir Fishing Access

Wachusett Reservoir fishing access is allowed through the following areas:

  • Route 70: Gates 6 to 16
  • Route 140: Gates 17 to 24
  • Route 12/110: Gates 25 to 35
  • West Boylston: Thomas Basin

No Fishing is Allowed From Any Other Areas.

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Sudbury Reservoir Fishing Access

Shore fishing at the Sudbury Reservoir is permitted everywhere except that portion of the Reservoir closest to the dam. Prohibited area extends from Route 30 Causeway around the the dam to Clemmons St.

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Pond Fishing 

Fishing at the West Waushacum Pond (the Quag), Middle Waushacum Pond, and Muddy Pond in Sterling extends from the first Saturday in April through November 30.

  • Ice Fishing is not permitted.
  • Boats up to 14 feet in length, canoes, and kayaks are allowed at the Waushacum Ponds.
  • From September 15th to May 15th all users must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device.
  • Electronic outboard motors, but no others, may be used.


The following are strictly prohibited on Wachusett and Sudbury Reservoir Watershed Lands:

  • Any bodily contact with the water
  • Disposing of human waste, trash, or litter
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Boating (except as designated at West Waushacum, Middle Waushacum, and Muddy Ponds in Sterling)
  • Smoking or building fires
  • Animals/pets

Security Issues

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.
  • National security conditions may require the temporary closure of the reservoir to all public access.
  • Notices will be posted at all access points if closure is necessary.
  • Emergency Contact Numbers
    Emergency: 911
    Wachusett DCR Watershed Rangers: 978-365-3800
    MA State Police - Holden: 508-829-8410

DCR and its employees are not responsible for any damages or loss of life which may be incurred in connection with the public use of the reservoirs.

Fishing Advisory

  • The DCR and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have issued a health advisory for persons consuming Wachusett and Sudbury 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.

click here for the Department of Public Health’s complete list of fish consumption advisories

Rest Room Facilities

In order to address sanitary concerns for the fishing program, DCR has placed temporary rest room facilities at heavily traveled sites around the Wachusett Reservoir. Facilities are located at the Oakdale Rail-Trail, Old Stone Church, Gate 19, and Gate 36. Please protect Wachusett Reservoir's water by using these facilities.

Preserve your privilege to use this unique resource

  • Be considerate in your use of land and water.
  • Know and obey DCR DWSP rules and regulations.
  • Report violators to:
       Watershed Rangers: 978-365-3800
       State Police- Holden Barracks: 508-829-8410

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 92A 1/2, Section 9)

Other important numbers

Wachusett Administration Building: 508-792-7806
Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife