Colebrook River Lake, Connecticut & Massachusetts, USA

Also known as:  Colebrook River Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Colebrook River Lake.

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Colebrook River Lake visitor and community guide

With over 800 acres of boating and fishing waters, with no residential development, Colebrook River Lake – straddling the Connecticut and Massachusetts state line – is an ideal leisure-time destination. Colebrook River Lake provides many excellent recreational boating and fishing opportunities, including a boat ramp. The Lake is located in Colebrook, Connecticut with the northern end extending into Massachusetts near New Boston. The original Route 8 yields a seven mile drive around the lake (at lower water levels) and many visitors come here for the spectacular fall foliage season. Beautiful views will be encountered from the dam and within the reservoir confines.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Colebrook River Lake by building a flood control dam, impounding the West Branch of the Farmington River. It was built as part of the Corps network of flood control dams on Connecticut River tributaries. Construction of the Dam was completed in 1969 and it can store over 16 billion gallons of floodwater. As a flood control lake, the water level can fluctuate significantly. Under a Federal License, a 3.3 megawatt hydroelectric power plant was built by the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission in 1989, selling power to the Connecticut Light and Power Company.

Colebrook River Lake is quite popular with anglers for its stocked brown and rainbow trout, a good number of ‘keepers’ are caught each year. The Connecticut rock bass record from the lake is 1 pound 3 ounce, set in 1989. In addition to trout, Colebrook River Lake provides excellent sport fishing for large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, chain pickerel, pan fish and catfish. There’s nothing like leaning back in your boat with your lure presented to the trout and watching the gorgeous shores of the lake.

Fine boating is a major enjoyment on the gorgeous waters of Colebrook River Lake, although water sports are not allowed with anything faster than 20 mph. The large boat launch ramp maintained by the U.S. Army Corps is on the western shore and has rudimentary facilities. For the geocacher, there are over 100 geocaches nearby – lots of ‘finds’ available. Wildlife viewing includes deer, black bear, red fox, raccoon, mink and muskrats. The fortunate ‘birder’ may see osprey, great blue heron, egrets, turkey, ruffled grouse and bald eagles.

Colebrook River Lake is for the outdoor person, angler or someone who just wants some peace and quiet with the added benefit of superb views – it’s a wonderful experience of nature’s best, not to be missed.

Reference: A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut, published by the Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, Connecticut, 2002

Custom Colebrook River Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Colebrook River Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish species found at Colebrook River Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Northern Pike
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Colebrook River Lake

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Colebrook River Lake photo gallery

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Colebrook River Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 826 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 708 feet

Average Depth: 53 feet

Maximum Depth: 136 feet

Water Volume: 43,778 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 118 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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