Brown Trout

Click here for information on freshwater fishing in Massachusetts.

View a list and learn about fish species in Massachusetts in greatest need of conservation as identified in MassWildlife's 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan.

Visit a Fish Hatchery!

Hatcheries operated by MassWildlife are open to visitors in Belchertown, Montague, Sandwich, and Sunderland. Be advised that your visit will be a self-guided experience.  

Effective January 1, 2012 New Law Prohibiting Certain Lead Jigs and Sinkers in Fresh Water

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) reminds all freshwater anglers that as of January 1, 2012, the use of any lead fishing sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than 1 ounce is now prohibited in all inland waters (freshwater) of the Commonwealth. More information and flyer for posting.

Zebra Mussel Web Pages

In July 2009, the presence of invasive zebra mussels was confirmed in Laurel Lake, Lee. Learn more about this invasive species in the Zebra Mussel section.

Technical Report on Factors Affecting River Fish Communities -- Late 2011

A new technical report Factors Influencing Riverine Fish Assemblages in Massachusetts, 2011 about factors affecting the composition of river fish communities in Massachusetts streams has been recently published and is available at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website.

"This study will help water resource managers and state environmental agencies make more informed decisions about managing the human-generated factors that affect aquatic habitat in the state." said Todd Richards, MassWildlife Aquatic Biologist and co-author of the report. Though the report is fairly technical, he said that conservation-minded audiences should find the report's introduction and conclusions portions useful for understanding the context of the study. Environmental consultants, academics, conservation agents and commissions and other people with an interest or background in aquatic habitat will also have an interest in the report.

Using data from MassWildlife's fish-community database, reviewing fisheries literature and employing a new Sustainable Yield Estimator computer application, the USGS in cooperation with the Massachusetts Departments of Fish and Game, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Recreation investigated small and medium-sized streams to find out how the combination of physical natural basin characteristics (slope, sand and gravel, basin size, and elevation) and human land use characteristics (flow alteration, impervious land coverage, and dams) affect the compositions of fluvial (river-dependent) fish communities. Their study found that increases in the percent coverage of impervious land such as paved roads, sidewalks, and parking lots and increases in flow alteration were significantly related to declines in the kinds and numbers of river-dependent fish communities in streams.

Target Fish Community Technical Report, 2009

Published in April of 2009 by the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Target Fish Community Technical Report pdf format of Target Fish Community Technical Report
file size 2MB includes methods used in the Target Fish Community effort, describes river-specific results for 11 major mainstem rivers and conclusion on the effort. Please note that only a few hard copies are available.