Farmington River Reach 3
West Branch Reservoir 

Last Updated: 6/2018
        The West Branch Reservoir (or Hogback) is owned by the MDC (The Metropolitan District Hartford, Connecticut) and used for river flow augmentation, recreational boating and fishing, hydroelectric power generation and is held in reserve for future drinking water supply.  MDC operates a hydroelectric power facility at the Colebrook River Dam.
        The MDC owns over 6,000 acres of watershed forest land along the West Branch of the Farmington River surrounding the West Branch Reservoir and the Colebrook River Lake Reservoir.

Water Release
          The MDC owns and operates Goodwin Dam and makes releases to the West Branch of the Farmington River in accordance with the Connecticut General Statutes, a riparian agreement, and an agreement with the Allied Connecticut Towns.     
         Pursuant to these obligations, required releases from Goodwin Dam occur as follows:   
  • Minimum release of 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) (or 32 mgd) at all times;
  • Additional release of all natural flows up to 150 cfs;
  • Additional release of any flows released from Otis Reservoir;
  • Additional riparian releases upon request by the Farmington River Power Company, up to 21.7 billion gallons per year; and
  • Pass through of fisheries releases from Connecticut DEEP controlled pools in Colebrook River Lake.  

     Without this water release protocol, the flows within the river would frequently be below 25 cfs during the summer months. Today MDC releases a minimum of 50 cfs daily under this protocol.
        For more information about the MDC and releases, select the button below:
Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1.5 hours
Total Distance:       3.4 miles
USGS Map: Tolland Center, CT, Winsted, CT
Physical Features:
  • Area:                201.34 acres
  • Max depth:        90 feet 
  • Average Depth:      feet
  • Transparency:        feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, No homes, backup water supply
  • Facilities:  Picnic Tables, Toilets, Boat Ramp​ no trailer launch
Bathymetry Map
 West Branch Reservoir Access - Mile 57.4 W
Position: 41-59.38 N 73-01.38 W
Altitude: 631 feet
Boat Launch:
Boating access to the West Branch Reservoir is at the west side of the Goodwin Dam. A car-top boat launch and gravel ramp is available, along with parking for 30 cars, and chemical toilet. Boat trailers are not allowed in the water. No water contact sports are allowed. Swimming is prohibited.
Nearest Launch Address: 
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3EDurst Road, Hartland, CT{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E
Put-In/Take-Out Directions ( 5.5 miles 10 minutes)
From the intersection of Route 44 and Route 8 in Winsted, CT
  1. Head North on North Main Street/Route 8 North.
  2. At mile 4.4, turn right onto Eno Hill Road.
  3. At mile 4.9, turn left onto Durst Road.
  4. At mile 5.5, turn left into the parking lot just before the dam.
  5. Carry your boat down to the launch area.
Parking is on the left just before the dam.
Launch your boat here.
MDC Releases
      Anglers can fish from MDC property at the car-top access area and along the entire western shore. The area is closed at night. The State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and MDC stock about 5,000 catchable brown trout annually in the spring. Smallmouth bass, rock bass and yellow perch are present. State regulations apply for all species. 
      Ice-fishing and boating are allowed on both the West Branch Reservoir and Colebrook River Lake. The West Branch of the Farmington River is an important Trout Management Area.
State Pond Map