Clam Lake Reservoir

Last Updated: 4/2017
Fishing - unknown

        When we first visited the lake reservoir, the first reaction was that it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The design is very similar to their work.  Truth be told, it was built under contract by the state of Massachusetts in the early 1970’s
        The land was acquired by the Commonwealth’s Division of Water Resources (now defunct) from Seiberts and Etzel in 1972.  The land was acquired through a “taking” for flood control purposes.  After the historic 1955 flood many of the tributaries of the west branch of the Farmington River were dammed in order to better control future catastrophic weather events that would send flood waters into the main Farmington River system.
    In a 1980 report, the overflow area was deemed unsafe because they felt it would wash away easily.  They recommended that the lake not be filled all the way.  If you look at the overflow drain midway down the dam, you will notice that the reservoir is filled to capacity.  The reserve is greater than ten feet above this level.  There is no indication around the lake reservoir of any reduction in levels.
      We have always found the water clear and clean.  The portage to the lake reservoir is about a quarter of a mile but the up side is that you will most likely have all the water to yourself!  Few people are willing to put in the effort when there is easy access to several other lakes not far away.  Since there are no structures of any kind around the lake, there is a quality of wilderness that prevades this paddle.

The Portage
       If the main gate is open then you can drive down almost to the waters edge.  Most of the time the gate is closed.  The portage is about 0.25 miles to the launch are. 
Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour each plus portage
Total Distance:      1.8 miles
USGS Map:           Otis, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:  68 Hammertown Road Sandisfield, MA 01255
Position:  42-08.34 N 73-06.34 W
Physical Features:
  • Area:                 acres
  • Max depth:        feet
  • Average Depth: feet
  • Transparency:    feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, State Park, no structures except the dam
Fish Population - West Lake
  • Last survey Unknown
  •  Species: Unknown
Put-In/Take-Out (14.6 miles, about 26 minutes)
  • From US Route 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) take exit 2.
  • At the end of the ramp turn left at stoplight and right at the next stoplight on to Route 102 West.
  • At the next stoplight, mile 0.2, turn left on to Tyringham Road.  This is at the Big Y shopping area.
  • At about mile 2.9, the road becomes Main Road.  Pass through the tiny village of Tyringham.  The road now become Tyringham Road again as you pass into Otis.
  • At mile 9.8, furn left on to Route 23.
  • At mile 9.9, turn right on Cold Spring Road.
  • At mile 13.6, turn right onto Hammertown Road (a dirt road).
  • At mile 14.6 arrive at the third entrance gate.  This is the only one with a entrance ramp and is obviously the right one.
A view of the lake in early Spring
Clam Lake Reservoir Dam
Island View
Entrance Road (portage when gate closed)
Launch by the Dam
Cascading stream