Lake Monomonac, Massachusetts & New Hampshire, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Massachusetts - Central - New Hampshire - Monadnock -

The wind fills the sails, pushing the sailboats across Lake Monomonac. A bewitching combination of pristine white sail cloth and billowing bright colors glide like flocks of birds over the 711-acre lake. Lake Monomonac covers part of the Monadnok region in New Hampshire and the Central region of Massachusetts, straddling the border between the states. It is a beautiful blending of countryside, small towns and forests with enough water for serious recreation.

The Millers River makes up both the inflow and outflow of Lake Monomonac. The lake is a collection of small ponds and wetlands connected by the construction of several dams on the North Branch of the Millers River, the first of which were built in the 18th century. Water rights have changed hands several times over the years, starting with the family of Deacon Joseph White who bought the rights to impound the water for his mill; he built the dams that created the lake as it exists today. The dams raised water levels approximately 10 to 12 feet.

After a century of ownership the White family sold the water rights to Monomonac Lake Shores, an area developer. There was some conflict between the developer and property owners, culminating with the collapse of the main dam in 1976. The Town of Winchendon took control of the dam, and with the help of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the town rebuilt the dam.

Today, there are two dams on the south end of Lake Monomonac that control water levels. The Town of Winchendon owns both the dams and spillway and draws down the water six to eight feet every fall. Several property owners associations around the lake work to protect the lake’s water quality. Together the Winchendon Springs Lake Association, Rindge Lake Association and the Monomonac Lake Property Owners Association perform water testing and monitor the lake’s water.

Classified as oligo-mesotrophic (clean and moderately fertile), Lake Monomonac supports healthy populations of fish. With 425 acres in New Hampshire and 286 acres in Massachusetts, the lake is managed under New Hampshire fishing laws. However, anglers can fish with a valid Massachusetts fishing license. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill and pumpkinseed can all be found in the lake. Yellow perch and white perch are also present. There isn’t a lot of natural cover in Lake Monomonac, so anglers may have better luck fishing near the manmade structures.

Public access to the lake is from a boat ramp near the dam, and there are marinas available. Stretching over two and a half miles long and just under a mile wide, Lake Monomonac is a favorite with boaters, sailors and water-skiers. Two islands, Blueberry Island on the Massachusetts side and Paradise Island on the New Hampshire side, offer plenty of places to explore by canoe or kayak. In fact, Monomonac means “islands” and “place” to the Nipmuc Indians who originally settled the area.

Lake Monomonac is an hour and a quarter from Boston. Residential development and vacation rentals surround the lake, and for visitors who want to extend their stay, there is real estate available for sale. Part of the Annett State Forest, Rindge in Cheshire County is the nearest town on the New Hampshire side of the lake. Winchendon in Worchester County is in the Winchendon State Forest and borders Lake Monomonac on the Massachusetts side of the lake.

Surrounded by forested shores, quaint towns and beautiful countryside, Lake Monomonac balances the best of both states. Add the fish-filled water and room for boating and water skiing, and the lake is sure to become a central Massachusetts and Monadnock New Hampshire destination.

Things to do at Lake Monomonac

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Birding
  • State Forest

Fish species found at Lake Monomonac

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Lake Monomonac Photo Gallery

    Lake Monomonac Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Town of Winchendon

    Surface Area: 711 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,045 feet

    Average Depth: 8 feet

    Maximum Depth: 19 feet

    Water Volume: 12,844 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1976

    Water Residence Time: 3.6 Years

    Trophic State: Oligo-mesotrophic

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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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