Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Information

Find information about fishing on Quabbin Reservoir and its tributaries.

Fish Advisory

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 view the Department of Public Health’s complete list of fish consumption advisories.

Reservoir Boat Fishing

Boat Launching Area #1 - Gate 8
William E. Pula Fishing Area-Located in Pelham off Route 202, 4½ miles north of the intersection with Route 9.  This area is considered prime for coldwater fish such as trout and salmon. (lat = 42.3504, lon = -72.4004)

Boat Launching Area #2 - Gate 31
Robert D. Wetmore Fishing Area - located in New Salem off Route 122, just south of the intersection with Route 202.  This area provides a great variety of warm water fish in addition to trout and salmon. (lat = 42.5236, lon = -72.2874)

Boat Launching Area #3 - Gate 43
Stephen M. Brewer Fishing Area - Located in Hardwick off Greenwich Road, west of Route 32A.  This area offers excellent warm water fishing, in addition to trout and salmon.  (lat = 42.3736, lon= -72.2340)

Bait & Tackle

  • 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

Shore Fishing

  • Daylight hours access is permitted during the Quabbin Fishing Season along designated shorelines from Gates 8 to 16A, and from Gates 22 to 44.
  • Nighttime pedestrian fishing access for the Quabbin Reservation is allowed with a permit through Gates 16, 31, 33, 35, 41, & 43 during the period of one hour past sunset to one hour before sunrise. Click here for Quabbin Reservation Night Access permit application.
  • Nighttime fishing access is allowed without a permit on the off watershed ponds - Peppersmill, Bassett and South Spectacle – and the Swift River below Winsor Dam to Route 9.
  • 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 during the Quabbin fishing season.
  • Parking fees apply to shore fishing at Boat Launch Areas.
  • No fires are permitted at any time.

You can call the Quabbin Visitor Center for further details: (413) 323-7221.

Stream Fishing

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 from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. A "No Trespassing Zone" has been established around the Power Station where all public access is prohibited.

Pond Fishing

  • 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.

Fishing Facts

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 State Record

Species  Creel Number Minimum Size State Record
Lake Trout 2 18" 25 lbs. 7 oz.  2016
Brown Trout* 3** none 19 lbs. 10 oz.  1966
Rainbow Trout* 3** none 13 lbs. 13 oz. 1999
Brook Trout* 3** none 10 lbs. 0 oz.  2008
Landlocked Salmon 2 15" 10 lbs. 2 oz.  1985
Chain Pickerel 5 15" 9 lbs. 5 oz.  1954
Largemouth Bass** 5 12" 15 lbs. 8 oz.  1975
Smallmouth Bass** 5 12" 8 lbs. 2 oz.  1991
All Others --- --- ---

* Total daily creel is three (3) trout for this group.
** Total daily creel is five (5) bass for this group.