Gardner Lake is located in Bozrah, Montville and Salem. It is a natural a lake within the Thames River Drainage Basin. A 168 ft. long earthen dam was constructed on the outlet, raising the water level by 4 ft. An island off the south eastern shore is Connecticut’s smallest state park ( Minnie Island State Park, 0.4 acres). The watershed is 3,537 acres of mostly woods and wetland with moderate amounts of agricultural and residential developments. The lake is fed by Sucker Brook from the west and four other small streams. It drains northward over the spillway of the dam into Gardner Lake Brook, which flows into the Yantic River.
Most of the shoreline is developed with residences. There are also two campgrounds, a public beach and boating facility and a private marina. The remaining areas are undeveloped and include the shoreline of Hopemead State Park ( 300 yds.) and a large wetland to the northwest. The transparency of the lake is fair with visibility of 8-10 ft in the summer. The bottoms of the lake consists of sand, gravel, rubble and boulders, with scattered areas or organic muck and mud. Fishing should be excellent for bullhead and catfish. Fishing should be good seasonally for stocked trout and good year- round for walleye, bass, pickerel, perch and crappie. Sunfish angling should be fair. In general, don’t expect large numbers of panfish, but the fish you catch will probably be good sized.
No Known Issues
Vegetation Growth: Unknown
Non-native Species: Unknown
Gardner Lake is stocked during the spring and fall, and should be excellent for bullhead and catfish.
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Rainbow Trout, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, White Catfish, Brown Bullhead, Sunfish, Bluegill, White Sucker, American Eel
Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Ramp Comments: A state-owned boat launch is located on the southern shore. Facilities at the launch include a ramp with concrete slabs, parking for 50 cars with trailers, and chemical toilets (seasonal). From Rte 82, take Rte 354 north for 0.25 miles, access road is on the right.
Parking Spaces: More than 40