Click here for Quabbin (and other waters) fishing

During the 1920's it became apparent that Eastern Massachusetts did not have a large enough water supply to satisfy its growing needs for water. Thirsty Eastern Massachusetts inhabitants looked  westward to the Swift River 100 miles away. The Swift River flowed through some small towns nestled in the Swift River valley. Through a series of "buyouts" the inhabitants of these towns were tossed out of their homes in preparation for construction of a reservoir.

Houses were bulldozed, bodies dug up (except for Native Americans), factories demolished and millions acres of trees were cut down. Four towns: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott were "discontinued"  and seven other towns were altered. A half mile long dam was built on the Swift River in Belchertown MA, and one of the longest tunnels in the world was constructed to carry the water a hundred miles to the east.

 Flooding of the valley started in mid August 1939 and in 1946 the reservior was filled to capacity ( 412 billion gallons.) Nearly 40 square miles were covered with water. The new reservoir was named after a Native American chief of a local tribe. The chief's name was Nani-Quaben. The name, which was given to a hill in Enfield and a lake in Greenwich means " well watered place."



If I walk out my back door I can be inside the confines of the Quabbin within moments and I have spent many hours exploring its silent wilderness. It's also my favorite fishing spot.
. Old cellar holes, stone wall, abandoned roads and hand-dug wells abound. I see deer (although hunting has made them pretty rare,) now and then a coyote, fisher cats, a great variety of birds and water fowl. There are moose and bear; in the reservation. When fishing it's  common to see Bald Eagles. The watershed area encompasses nearly 200 square miles.


Countless unnamed streams and brooks feed into the reservoir. When you are on the water you can look down and see the ghostly remains of old foundations and stonewalls built many years ago by the long dead inhabitants of the four lost towns. Some people claim that the Quabbin is haunted and if you've ever been within it's borders after dark you'd find yourself hard pressed to argue with them.

Human activities within the wilderness and on the water are  restricted with huge areas off limits to people. Boat engine size is controlled and in order to get out onto the water you must have a fishing license, pleasure boating is not allowed. To me one of the most wonderful aspects of "The Big Lady"  are the times when the place is silent. On a windless winter day you can sit quietly and literally not hear a sound.

Fishing Quabbin is a wonderful experience. Its beauty and relative solitude contribute greatly to the already wonderful pastime of fishing. Fish species include, Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, Lake Trout, Salmon, Chain Pickerel, White and Yellow Perch, Crappie, Rock Bass, Bluegill, and Bullhead. Action can be outstanding especially in Spring when the Smallies are in pre-spawn.

There are a number of fine books about the Quabbin. My favorite is Historic Quabbin Hikes by J.R. Greene (Highland Press, Athol MA. ISBN - 1-884132-01-4.)

If you are interested in my catch and release fishing adventures click here.

The pages below are of a non- fishing nature.




Here's a picture and a  story about the remnants of the Golf Clubhouse on Curtis Hill Island.

Looking south on the Quabbin.

 


Read about the Greenwich Goldmine





The strange case of Asa Snow


 


Dana Massachusetts



Enfield Massachusetts

Greenwich Massachusetts

Prescott Massachusetts

Quabbin - Yesterday and today

Russ Mountain Quabbin Reservoir

Flowers and stuff

Looking north from near Winsor Dam

Bear


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