Quabbin Reservoir


Quabbin Reservoir

Town(s): Hardwick MA, Petersham MA, New Salem MA, Pelham MA, Belchertown MA, Ware MA
County: Franklin, Hampshire, Worcester

Size: 24529 acres
Average Depth: feet
Maximum Depth: feet

Boating Allowed: State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply, Horsepower or Speed Restrictions, See Comments
Boating Comments: See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/dwmaccessrules.htm. Only boats of a minimum length of 12 feet, and of a type considered safe by the Commission representative in charge, shall be used. No inboard motors, collapsible boats, sailboats, pontoon boats, square sterned canoes, or other similar craft will be permitted in the water, and no boats will be permitted in the water except in areas designated for boating by the Commission or its designee. Outboard motors shall have a rating of not more than one-half the BIA or OBC rated horsepower for the boat and shall not exceed 20 horsepower, except that outboard motors for Commission boats less than fourteen 14 feet six inches in length shall not exceed ten horsepower. Boats less than 14 feet six inches in length will be limited to three occupants, and boats of that length and in excess thereof may be licensed to carry four occupants. No boats shall carry more than four occupants. Canoes and jon boats of a minimum length of 12 feet, and of a type considered safe by the Commission representative in charge, shall be used and only in areas designated for boating by the Commission on Pottapaug Pond above the regulating dam and at Gate 31 above the regulating dam. Canoes less than 16 feet and jon boats less than 14 feet six inches in length will be limited to two occupants, and canoes and jon boats in excess thereof may be licensed to carry three occupants. All boats must be in compliance with current Commonwealth Boating Laws. All boats must be clean and contain no refuse of any kind. Commission personnel shall have the right to inspect all private boats launched at Commonwealth facilities and may deny access in order to protect water quality or the safety of occupants. Chock blocks must be used on vehicles when removing boats from the Reservoir.
Swimming: No Swimming Allowed

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Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Quabbin's water covers 39 square miles, is 18 miles long and has 181 miles of shoreline. When full, Quabbin holds 412 billion gallons of water. The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the reservoir. In order to flood the vast area of the Swift River Valley in the 1930s, the entire population of four towns had to be relocated. Hundreds of homes, businesses, a state highway, a railroad line, and 34 cemeteries were also moved or dismantled. Over 6,000 graves were relocated from the Valley to Quabbin Park cemetery. The Office of Watershed Management has care and control of the 24,529 acre Quabbin Reservoir, plus 54,686 acres of land within the watershed, plus 4,400 acres off the watershed, for a total OWM ownership of 79,215 acres on the watershed (66%), and an overall total, including off-watershed lands of 83,615 acres. Non-OWM ownership includes 28,846 acres of privately owned forestland, plus 8,207 acres of other publicly owned forestland. Agriculture encompasses just 1,283 acres (~1%). Currently developed land includes residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, waste disposal, administrative, roadway, and utility rights of way, and totals less than 5% of the watershed area. Within OWM lands there are 3,716 acres of islands and 2,272 acres of wetlands. In addition to these two areas, there are special management restrictions placed on 1,712 acres of steep slopes, 1,058 acres of Quabbin Park, and the 1,183-acre Pottapaug Natural Area. The Quabbin Interpretive Services Program operates the Quabbin Visitor Center, Education Programs, Teacher Workshops, and provides general information about DCR resources. Three full time staff members are available to assist with visitor information and services. An automated telephone system - 413 323-7221 - provides 24 hour access to current information on fishing, hunting, programs, rules and regulations, and public access. The primary purpose of DCR water and surrounding lands is drinking water supply. Public access, therefore, is carefully regulated and controlled to protect over 2 million people’s source of drinking water. State regulations require all entry and exit through gates or other designated areas only. Anything that could pollute the water supply system, such as litter or refuse of any sort, is prohibited. Please observe restrictions on recreational activities. Direct water contact activities, such as swimming and wading, are strictly prohibited by regulation. Dogs are not allowed on any DCR property associated with Quabbin Reservoir. The Quabbin's creation required the flooding, and thus the dissolution, in April 1938, of four towns: Dana (located in Worcester County), Enfield, Greenwich (pronounced "GREEN witch"), and Prescott (all located in Hampshire County). The land remaining from the dissolved towns was added to surrounding municipalities, including Belchertown, Pelham, New Salem, Petersham, Hardwick and Ware.

Water Quality: No Known Issues, Town/State Monitoring
Vegetation Growth: Minimal
Non-native Species: Unknown

Fishing Comments: See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/quabfish.htm
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Chain Pickerel, Salmon, Lake Trout, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Boat Access: Primarily Car-top boats & Canoes
Ramp Comments: See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/quabfish.htm
Parking Spaces: 21-40

Directions: FROM BOSTON: Take the Mass. Turnpike to Exit 8 (Palmer). At the end of the Exit Ramp turn left onto Route 32 North and proceed for 8 miles. In Ware turn left at the green sign "Route 9 West" (just past McDonalds). Go 2/10ths of a mile to a stop sign. Turn left onto Route 9 and proceed west for 7 miles. Turn right at the green sign marked "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam" (Note: This will be the second green sign on your right. The first sign, located at the 5.3 mile mark, provides access to the m
Shoreline Development: 50-75%