Massachusetts is a US state found in New England. With a border along the Atlantic Ocean, several large bays shape the state's coastline. Massachusetts also contains numerous lakes, as well as artificial reservoirs created to meet the water demands of the state's population. These lakes also serve as an important source of fish and support recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, camping, and bird-watching. Some of the state’s largest lakes are highlighted below.
1. Quabbin Reservoir
The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest lake in Massachusetts, occupying an area of 99.97 km2 and reaching a maximum depth of 46 m. The reservoir was built between 1930 and 1939 for the purpose of meeting the water demands of the area's growing population. For example, the reservoir serves as a major source of water for the Greater Boston metropolitan area. Parts of the Quabbin Reservoir are open to the public and used as recreational areas. An observation tower allows tourists to view the beautiful scenery of the lake and its surroundings. In addition to fish, the area serve as a habitat for various forms of wildlife, including black bears, coyotes, foxes, eagles, and bobcats.
2. Wachusett Reservoir
The Wachusett Reservoir is the second biggest lake in Massachusetts, encompassing an area of 18.2 km2 and reaching a maximum depth of 37 m. It is located in the central part of the state and serves as a major source of water for the residents of Boston. Inflows, such as the Quinapoxet and Stillwater rivers feed the reservoir, and then two tunnels lead water from the reservoir to the Norumbega Storage Facility. Additionally, the Quabbin Aqueduct also carries water from the Quabbin Reservoir to the Wachusett Reservoir. Recreational activities within the reservoir are restricted to ensure that its water is not polluted. Several species of fish have been recorded in the Wachusett Reservoir, such as brown trout, smallmouth bass, and white perch.
3. Assawompset Pond
Assawompset Pond is the third largest body of water in Massachusetts, and the largest natural lake in the state, with an area of 9.72 km2. It is located in the southeastern part of Massachusetts and serves as the main source of drinking water for the city of New Bedford. The lake is home to the eastern seaboard’s largest herring run.
4. North Watuppa Pond
The North Watuppa Pond is the second largest natural lake in Massachusetts, covering an area of 7.3 km2. It is a spring-fed pond that was formed by glaciers, and reaches a maximum depth of 7.6 m. Several small streams feed the lake, while the Quequechan River is its primary outflow. The public cannot access its shores for recreation, as the North Watuppa Pond is the main source of drinking water for the city of Fall River.
5. South Watuppa Pond
Located directly south of the North Watuppa Pond, the South Watuppa Pond covers an area of 6.28 km2 and reaches a maximum depth of 6.7 m. Historically, the North and South Watuppa ponds were connected and formed one large lake. Several streams and springs feed the South Watuppa Pond, and it serves as popular recreational area, especially for fishing.
6. Long Pond
Long Pond is a lake located in the southeastern part of the state, where it shares its waters with Assawompset Pond. The lake has an area of 6.96 km2, a maximum depth of 3.7 m, and serves as a source of drinking water for the city of New Bedford. Three islands, namely Goat, Lewis, and Nelson, are located within the lake. Fishing and boating are popular recreational activities Long Pond. However, the lake's shallow depth, as well as its outcropping rocks and the sand bar connecting Nelson to the mainland, pose risks when navigating the lake.
7. Lake Chaubunagungamaug
The fifth biggest lake in Massachusetts, Lake Chaubunagungamaug, occupies an area of 5.83 km2 and reaches a maximum depth of 15 m. The lake is also known by a much longer name that has 45 letters and contains 14 syllables: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The fact that it is the longest name of any place in the country generates interest among tourists. The lake contains eight islands, some of which are inhabited.