Quabbin Reservoir - Fishing Area 1 - Gate 8

Last Updated: 5/2018
     Quabbin's fishery is comprised of both coldwater species (trout and salmon) and warmwater species (bass, pickerel, perch, and bullhead). Most of the deep coldwater species occur on Quabbin's west arm, accessible from Gate #8 (Boat Launch Area #1). Deep water fishing is also available on the main part of the reservoir, but Gate #31 (Area #2) and Gate #43 (Area #3) also provide access to shallower waters which are better for warmwater fishing.
   The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in the Commonwealth of Massachusettsand and was built between 1930 and 1939. Today along with the Wachusett Reservoir, it is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles to the east, as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. It also supplies water to three towns west of the reservoir and acts as backup supply for three others. It has an aggregate capacity of 412 billion US gallons and an area of 38.6 square miles.
My Opinion
      Area One is a very very large area.  The only way to travel this is by motor boat.  Because of the Boat Seal requirements, it would be easiest to just rent a boat for the day.  Make sure you have your fishing license and fishing gear or they will not allow you to rent a boat or travel the reservoir.  You can purchase a one day fishing license at the boat launch! Remember, there is not swimming anywhere. 
Quabbin Boat Seal Program
        All private boats must have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal (QBS) to launch on the reservoir.  Seals can be obtained through a DCR approved decontamination and inspection process.  Click above for the latest Quabbin Boat Seal Schedule  [pdf format of Quabbin Boat Seal Schedule]. To make an appointment, please call the Quabbin Visitor Center at (413) 323-7221.
  • Seals must be intact when arriving at the reservoir for launching.
  • DCR personnel will inspect QBS, then break it before launching.
  • As boats are removed from the reservoir, it will be sealed to the trailer by the attendant.
  • Tampering with QBS is a violation of DCR Rules and Regulations and will result in loss of Quabbin fishing privileges and possible fines.
  • Quabbin Boat Seal Program FAQ  
No Canoes and Kayaks allowed in Area 1
    Due to concerns with aquatic invasive species being carried from one water body to another, private canoes and kayaks are no longer allowed to be launched at Quabbin Reservoir.  However canoe and kayak rentals are available on a first come-first serve basis at Boat Launch areas #2 and #3 for use on the regulating ponds at those areas.  All boating regulations for Quabbin Reservoir apply to these craft.
Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Guide

Estimated Time:   All day if you decided to visit the entire area.
Total Distance:    26.5   miles - This can vary based on reservoir height.
USGS Map: Winsor Dam, MA and Shutesbury, MA (7.5’x15’)

Position: 42-19.95 N 72-22.05 W
Physical Features:
  • Area:         24,012 acres or 38.6 square miles
  • Max depth:          feet
  • Average Depth:   feet
  • Transparency: 
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, Park, Wetlands, Watershed
Fish Population
  • Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Landlocked Salmon, Chain Pickerel, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and many more species.
State Pond Map
Gate 8 - Area 1 - Launch
Position: 42-19.95 N 72-22.05 W 
Boat Launch:
Excellent well maintain paved and concrete boat ramp that can handle any type of trailer.  Only approved motor boats allowed.  Motorboats available to rent.
Nearest Launch Address:
Old Ward Road, Belchertown, MA 01007
Put-In Directions (18.7 miles, 33 minutes):
From Exit 7 of Interstate 90 (the Mass. Pike):
  1. At the end of the ramp, turn right at the stoplight onto Route 21 North (Belchertown/Ware)
  2. At mile 9.7, turn right onto Route 21/202 North (Belchertown/Athol).
  3. At mile 10.7, at the top of the hill, turn left at the stoplight for 202 North (Pelham).
  4. Follow 202 North throught Belchertown crossing Route 9 at a stoplight near McDonalds.
  5. At mile 16.0, turn right onto Packardville Road.  You will see a white sign with Fishing Area 1, Gate 8.
  6. The road becomes Old Ward Road. Follow this road to the end.
  7. At mile 18.7 arrive at a large parking area boat ramp, and boat rental.  Check in with the authorities there.

Plenty of parking for all.
Excellent boat ramp!
Quabbin Boat Seal Program
Quabbin Reservior is large and magestic.