Lake Wononscopomuc, Connecticut, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Connecticut - Litchfield Hills -

Also known as:  Wononscopomuc Lake, Wononskopomuc Lake, Lake Wononskopomuc, Lakeville Lake

Lake Wononscopomuc is one of six lakes and ponds found in the town of Salisbury in far northwest Connecticut. Offering a lakeside retreat only 90 miles north of New York City, Lake Wononscopomuc has become the exclusive home to a number of week-end and part-time residents. Whether you come for summer swimming, sailing and fishing or winter skating and cross country skiing at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains, Lake Wononscopomuc has all the ingredients for a perfect family getaway.

The Township of Salisbury was settled around 1720 with Lake Wononscopomuc (originally known as Lakeville Lake) serving as a source of power for a growing iron industry within the community of Lakeville. By the middle of the 19th century Lakeville was becoming less of an industrial center and more of a scenic rural community with a recreational center. In 1848 Lakeville Lake was renamed Wononscopomuc, believed to be a corruption of a Native American lake description meaning “marshy area at the bend in the lake.” Today Salisbury’s population of 4,200 is spread out over approximately 60 square miles and includes the villages of Salisbury and Lakeville as well as the hamlets of Amesville, Lime Rock and Taconic. Exceptionally picturesque during the fall, the surrounding low mountains are home to the Housatonic River, South Pond and Wononscopomuc, Washinee, Washining, Wononpakook, and Riga Lakes.

Contained within the village of Lakeville, 353-acre Wononskopomuc Lake is the deepest natural lake in Connecticut. This fairly circular lake is divided in half by a north-south ridge running below the water’s surface. The western basin holds a maximum depth of 106 feet. The eastern basin has a maximum depth of 60 feet, leaving Lakeville Lake with an average depth of 36 feet. Underground springs feed this marl lake along with surface water from Sucker Brook and two unnamed streams.

Along the three-mile shoreline residential neighborhoods now stand where farms, factories and railways once flourished. Land-use changes within the watershed now receive the attention of the Lake Wononscopomuc Association. Formed in 1988, the association works hard to preserve water quality and quality of life on Lakeville Lake. Among their many efforts, the association is working to control the growing problem of Eurasian milfoil. With acres of this invasive plant spreading across the lake, the association operates a milfoil harvester and has inserted barrier mats in the swimming area to counter the advancing plant and maintain Lakeville Lake’s beauty.

For more than 150 years Town Grove has served as the center of recreation on Lake Wononscopomuc. Originally serving as a steamboat launch in the 1870s, the Grove became a popular entertainment center. Located off Ethan Allen Street on the northeast end of the lake, the fee-based park now maintains a swimming area with beach and dressing rooms. Additional attractions include a fishing jetty, sailing and kayaking lessons, children’s playground, picnic area, outdoor grills, paddleball court and meeting hall.

A launch site with boat rentals, moorings and canoe racks is available at Town Grove. Motor boats are restricted to 10 horsepower or less. Personal water craft and towing of skis or floatation devices are prohibited. Sailing, canoeing and kayaking are popular pastimes on quiet Wononscopomuc Lake with opportunities to observe bald eagles, osprey, blue heron and migrating Canada geese and cormorants.

With the majority of Lake Wononscopomuc’s shoreline developed into private residences and estates, shoreline fishing is limited. Anglers can take advantage of Town Grove’s fishing jetty or boat launch to fish what is considered one of Connecticut’s premier fishing lakes. Stocked with fish annually, Lake Wononscopomuc is home to trout, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch and sunfish. A fishing license is required and available at the Town Grove office. For information on state fish consumption advisories, please see the link provided.

Just beyond the peace and harmony of Wononscopomuc Lake visitors can find endless opportunities for an adrenaline rush. The Housatonic River, flowing east of Lake Wononskopomuc, offers everything from Class I whitewater runs to an extremely dangerous Class VI run near Falls Village (Canaan). If hiking is in your plans, Undermountain Trail can be found three miles north of Salisbury. The two-mile trail rises straight up to Bear Mountain at 2.316 feet where you can choose to continue on the Appalachian Trail or return after the five-to-six mile round trip hike. Feel a need for speed? Lime Rock, located less than five miles southeast of Lakeville Lake, is home to one of the country’s oldest continuously operating auto race tracks where you can test your driving skills.

At Lake Wononscopomuc you will experience the best that Connecticut’s Litchfield County has to offer. Explore the lake, river and mountains; drink in the hospitality and charm of the countryside; but come sunset, return to the relaxation of the ideal vacation rental, charming inn or real estate property found near beautiful Lake Wononscopomuc.

Things to do at Lake Wononscopomuc

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake Wononscopomuc

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Lake Wononscopomuc Photo Gallery

    Lake Wononscopomuc Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 353 acres

    Shoreline Length: 3 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 709 feet

    Average Depth: 36 feet

    Maximum Depth: 106 feet

    Drainage Area: 3 sq. miles

    Trophic State: 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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