Quabbin Reservoir - Fishing Area 3 - Gate 43
including Pottapaug Pond

Last Updated: 5/2019

     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.
     Area #2 provides a great variety of warm water fish in addition to trout and salmon.
   The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in the Commonwealth of Massachusettsand 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 Three is a large area where row boats, canoe and kayaks can be used can be fun and adventurous.   Remember, you must be a fisher to use boat on Quabbin.  It is easiest to rent a kayak or other boats than to go through Boat Seal Process.

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  
Canoes and Kayaks allowed in Area 3
      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.  Remember a fishing license is required.  You may purchase a one-day license at the launch for $5.00.
Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Guide
Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:   All day if you decided to visit the entire area.
Total Distance: 
Pottapaug Distance - 14.2 miles
USGS Map: Barre, MA and Shutesbury, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address: Hell Huddle Rd, Petersham, MA 01366     
Boat Launching Area #3 - Gate 43
 There are two launch areas, north into Pottapaug Pond and south into Quabbin proper.  No private boats may be launched in the regulating pond, but rental boats, canoes and kayaks are available.  
Position: 42-23.52 N 72-14.32 W
Physical Features:
  • Area:         24,012 acres or 38.6 square miles
  • Max depth:      150 feet when full
  • Average Depth:   feet
  • Transparency: 
  • Shoreline length: over 181 miles
  • 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.
Put In and Take Out: 18.4 miles, 35 minutes
From Exit 8 of Interstate 90 (the Mass. Pike):
  • At the end of the ramp turn left at the stoplight onto Route 32 North (Ware/Hardwick)
  • At mile 7.3, just after Massachusetts National Guard building in Ware, turn left onto Gould Road.
  • At mile 8.0, at stop sign, turn right onto Belchertown Road/West Main Steet.
  • At mile 8.3, turn left onto Eagle Street.
  • At mile 8.9, turn right onto Willow Street.
  • At mile 9.0, turn left onto Greenwich Road.
  • At mile 16.8, make a sharp left at the Gate 43 sign and then a right onto Hell Huddle Road.
  • At mile 18.4, arrive at boat rental and launch area.
2015 Quabbin Boat Seal Schedule
State Pond Map
Quabbin Boat Seal Program FAQ
No private boats may be launched in the regulating Pottapaug Pond, but rental boats, canoes and kayaks are available as seen here.  
Stop at this shed a pay to launch or park.
Curved dam on Pottagaug Pond
Rent a motor boat at the boat ramp as seen here.
It gets quite busy on weekends and summer so arrive early.