Merrymeeting Lake


Merrymeeting Lake

Town(s): New Durham NH
County: Strafford

Size: 1233 acres
Average Depth: 29 feet
Maximum Depth: 120 feet

Boating Allowed: Kayaks, Canoes, Sail Boats, Electric Motor Boats, Power Boats, Jet-skis, State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply
Swimming: Swimming Allowed, No Restrictions

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Merrymeeting Lake is a 1,233-acre water body located in Strafford County in eastern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of New Durham. Its outlet is the Merrymeeting River, flowing south and then northwest to Lake Winnipesaukee.

The shores of Merrymeeting Lake are moderately to heavily developed. The lake has a busy recreational character rather than a wilderness character. Only a few small segments of shoreline remain undeveloped. The undeveloped areas are the western side of Sawtooth Cove, because the land is extremely steep there and difficult to build on, and the far eastern shore of the lake which is not easily accessible by road.

In the 1980s most buildings along the lake were simple summer camps. During the 1990s most of these structures were replaced by higher end summer homes, some worth millions of dollars. The town of New Durham maintains two paved roads, North Shore Road and South Shore Road, which almost encircle the lake, allowing for year-round residence. However the winter population is small. Most properties on the lake are second homes for affluent families.

Merrymeeting Lake has loons which nest on the western shore. Ducks also live on the lake, although feeding them is discouraged by the Merrymeeting Lake Association. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks the lake for recreational fishing.

There is a dam at the west end of the lake, which is used to control the lake's water level. Each year in the fall the water level in the lake is lowered via the dam. Water level is restored to its normal level in the Spring by snow melt and rainfall.

The Merrymeeting Lake Association (MMLA) exists to help preserve the Merrymeeting Lake watershed and water quality, to stimulate participation in the New Durham community, and to encourage an active and fun community among lake residents.


Water Quality: Town/State Monitoring
Vegetation Growth: Minimal
Non-native Species: Unknown

Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Salmon, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Brown Bullhead, Sunfish, Golden Shiner

Boat Access: Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Ramp Comments: ACCESS: paved ramp, gravel parking.
Parking Spaces: More than 40

Directions: Directions: Rt 11 to Depot Rd to Main St to Merrymeeting Lake Rd, 3.8 mi on R.
Shoreline Development: 50-75%