Ashmere Lake, Massachusetts, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Massachusetts - Western -

Ashmere Lake is a small, quiet lake tucked away in western Massachusetts. The 217-acre lake is surrounded by beautiful rural countryside in the towns of Hinsdale and Peru. Ashmere Lake offers easy accessibility to all of the Berkshires’ attractions, making it the perfect home base for a Berkshire vacation.

Actually a manmade reservoir, Ashmere Lake was created in 1875 with a dam built by the Crane Paper Company. The earthen embankment dam is at the south end of the lake and extends 1,525 feet long by 32 feet high. In 1979 the dam and lake became the property of the state of Massachusetts, which still controls the lake today. The lake has a maximum depth of 23 feet and an average depth of eight feet and is divided into two basins by route 143. A commercial boat ramp on the southeastern side of the road provides lake access for a fee. Water skiing is permitted on Ashmere Lake. The culvert between the two basins is too narrow for most boat traffic, except canoes, kayaks, and car top boats.

Because of its shallow depth, Ashmere Lake is a warm water fishery. Anglers can expect to find chain pickerel, yellow perch, black crappie, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, white suckers and golden shiners. There are also some white perch and northern pike present in the lake. Anglers looking for the lake’s abundant smallmouth bass population should try the deeper south basin. The shallow, weedy northern basin is a great place to try for one of Ashmere Lake’s largemouth bass. In the past, water levels on the lake were drawn down in the winter to help limit aquatic vegetation, causing occasional fish kills. Ashmere Lake, however, still has large populations of fish and is considered a good bass lake.

Ashmere Lake is in Berkshire County, part of the area affectionately known as the Berkshires. The Mohican Indians were the Berkshires’ original inhabitants with the first English settlers arriving in the early 1700’s. By the 1800’s wealthy city dwellers were building summer cottages and spending the season enjoying the clean air, rolling hills and beautiful water of the region. Today, the Berkshires may be best known for Tanglewood, which since 1937 has been the summer home of the Boston Symphony. There are many cultural opportunities in the Berkshires including concerts, galleries and museums. The region also offers a wide range of outdoor recreation including golf courses and trails for hiking and biking. The Appalachian Trail crosses the county, and in the winter there is skiing nearby.

With the solitude and charm of a rural setting, Ashmere Lake has everything a visitor could want from a country vacation. Adding to its charm, the lake is close to any amenity a guest might need. Settled in 1763 and incorporated in 1804, Hinsdale has shops, restaurants and a variety of accommodations. Lakefront vacation rentals dot the shoreline of Ashmere Lake, and there is real estate available for sale on the lake and in Hinsdale and Peru. The benefits of a small town getaway combined with easy accessibility make Ashmere Lake a fantastic Berkshires destination.

Things to do at Ashmere Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Museum

Fish species found at Ashmere Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Carp
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Ashmere Lake Photo Gallery

Ashmere Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: State of Massachusetts

Surface Area: 217 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,585 feet

Average Depth: 8 feet

Maximum Depth: 23 feet

Water Volume: 2,076 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1875

Drainage Area: 5 sq. miles

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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