Beseck Lake, Connecticut, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Connecticut - Greater New Haven -

Also known as:  Lake Beseck

Found in Connecticut’s beautiful Greater New Haven Region, Beseck Lake is a quiet residential lake. Ideally located in Middlefield near the center of the state, Beseck Lake is within easy commuting distance from Hartford to the north, Waterbury to the west and New Haven to the south. Whether you stay for summer recreation, fall colors or winter sports, the water, hills and history surrounding Beseck Lake combine to make this a favorite family destination.

It is unclear exactly when or how Beseck Lake (also called Lake Beseck) got its name. It is possible that the name is derived from Mattabeseck, the original Wangunk Indian name for Middletown found northeast of Middlefield. First settled in the late 1600s, Middlefield has stayed true to its rural agricultural roots making Beseck Lake an ideal location for vacations, week-end retreats and country homes.

Historic Beseck Lake is an impoundment of Ellen Doyle Brook, also known as the Beseck River. Around 1848 a group of local entrepreneurs formed the Middlefield Reservoir Company. Providing power for local saw, grist and cider mills, the company built a dam that converted Wild Cat Swamp into Lake Beseck. According to the Town Times Community Guide, the original dam was built with some very interesting local sandstone. “When the builders discovered that the stones contained dinosaur footprints, they laid the stones out in such a way that it looked as though the dinosaurs were traversing the dam.” Unfortunately the footprints disappeared when the dam was rebuilt in 1938. Today, the lake and dam fall under the ownership of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Beseck Lake continues to be fed by the Beseck River, several unnamed brooks and bottom springs. The 116-acre lake has a maximum 24-foot depth near the dam and maintains an average depth of 12 feet. At the north end of the lake are shallower waters with three-to-six foot depths.

Most of the Beseck Lake’s three-mile shoreline is privately owned with developed residential areas found along the eastern, northern and western shore. The southern shore is private forested land. Public access to Beseck Lake is limited to two locations. Town Beach, found along the western shore, is open to Middlefield residents during July and August. Beachgoers must acquire a pass from the Town Clerk’s office before going to the beach. The state maintains a public boat ramp off highway 147 along Beseck Lake’s eastern shore. Confined space at the ramp limits boat size to 18 feet. Twenty parking spaces are provided with chemical restrooms open in the summer months. Water skiing and boat speeds above eight miles per hour are only permitted from June 15 to the first Sunday following Labor Day, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily. When fall color comes to Beseck Lake canoes, kayaks and sailboats skim across the peaceful water. Once the snow falls and the lake freezes, thoughts turn to ice skating and cross-country skiing.

Anglers report that Lake Beseck is a popular fishing spot, often crowded on weekends. The lake does not have public access to shore fishing, so enjoy casting a line from your boat. Connecticut fishing regulations apply as you fish for bass, golden shiner, banded killifish, brook trout, channel catfish and white perch. For fish consumption advisories, please see the link provided.

Within easy driving distance Lake Beseck visitors can continue to enjoy their country experience. Wadsworth Fall State Park runs along beautiful Coginchaug River and is only a short 10-minute drive northeast of Beseck Lake. Covering 267 acres, visitors enjoy picnicking, stream fishing, pond swimming, or mountain biking and hiking through the hemlock and oak woodlands.

Within the town of Middlefield is information about, and access to, the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association members and volunteers maintain over 800 miles of hiking trails running through more than 80 Connecticut towns. Found immediately west of Beseck Lake, the Mattabesset Trail climbs 719-foot Beseck Mountain and covers roughly 50 miles of the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System.

Spending time at Beseck Lake is about rest, relaxation and escape from the pace of city life. With a population approaching 4,200, Middlefield and surrounding towns and hamlets of Middlesex County can provide just that. Appealing little shops, intriguing small galleries, and local cafes add moments to be savored and enjoyed. Whether you stay in lakefront accommodations on Beseck Lake or choose a charming vacation rental, bed & breakfast (B&B) or more permanent real estate property, you will be surrounded by Connecticut’s natural beauty and country charm.

Things to do at Beseck Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • State Park

Fish species found at Beseck Lake

  • Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Perch
  • Trout
  • White Perch

Beseck Lake Photo Gallery

Beseck Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

Surface Area: 116 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 344 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 375 feet

Average Depth: 12 feet

Maximum Depth: 24 feet

Water Volume: 1,276 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1848

Drainage Area: 2 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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