The watershed in Massachusetts is approximately 85% forested with a population of 4000 people. The summer population increases dramatically as people come to the watershed for its vast recreational and cultural opportunities. There are many lakes and ponds within the watershed, most notably the heavily used Otis Reservoir.
The river serves as the City of Hartford's main public water source. The elevation falls at an average rate of approximately 100 feet per mile. In Massachusetts, the Farmington River's scenic rapids and pure water are utilized for recreation, particularly trout fishing. The watershed plays host to much wildlife, including the peregrine falcon, a recovering endangered species, as well as numerous fish species, including Atlantic salmon.
- Nonpoint source runoff continues to be the number one concern in the Massachusetts' section of the Farmington River Watershed. Whether it affects streams or lakes, runoff is a big issue.
- Massachusetts contains the headwaters for the City of Hartford drinking water supply. Connecticut and Massachusetts have different water quality rating systems for their rivers, resulting in confusion and concern about future protection of the drinking water supply.
- While sparsely populated, the Massachusetts section of the Farmington River Watershed is ripe for development. Open space protection is a big issue here.
Public forums and workshops have been held to gather information and educate the public. Our most recent workshops have been on Estate Tax Planning and Conservation Restrictions. This has spawned much interest in these programs.
A Diagnostic and Feasibility Study was completed on Otis Reservoir, the largest recreational lake in the region. This helped the Town of Otis get a Lakes and Ponds Initiative Grant to help protect the lake.
In the coming months, the Farmington River Watershed Nonpoint Source Management Plan will be updated.
- Farmington River Watershed Road Salt Review file size 1MB
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Water Policy