Name of Water Body: Norton Reservoir
Location: Norton, MA
Boat Ramp: Google Maps Link
From the Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife pond map link above…
Most of this large, 529-acre impoundment is extremely shallow, averaging around three to four feet throughout except for a 10-foot hole out in front of the outlet dam. The bottom is hard sand throughout except for the deep area, which is mud bottomed. The water is extremely fertile with transparency at less than a foot during certain times of the year. Aquatic vegetation is scant expect for emergent vegetation along the shoreline. Much of the shoreline is accessible, and thanks to the hard bottom and shallow water, large portions of the reservoir can be fished with just chest waders. Informal access for boats is available off Reservoir Avenue at the northeast end of the pond; near the outlet dam on the east side; and at the point where Route 140 bisects the southern end.
Norton Reservoir has become my goto fishing spot simply because it’s only a few minute’s drive from my home.
When I first moved to Norton, MA about ten years ago, I only owned a kayak and would user that to fish in Norton Reservoir. Even if I had a motor boat, I wouldn’t have been able to use it very well because the reservoir was just choked with weeds. Even paddling in a kayak could be difficult in certain areas.
BUT – the fishing was great ! Lots of weeds to hide bait fish and small game fish and lots of lilly pads to target for the larger bass.
In 2016, the town of Norton contracted with weed removal firm to cleanup the various bodies of water in town and remove the over abundance of weeds…
Last year, in 2017, I found Norton Reservoir to be a totally different place. There was a distinct lack of weeds throughout most of the water. There were still a few pockets but for the most part the weeds were simply either gone or were going.
On the plus side – I was able to put my Nitro Z18 bass boat on the reservoir and actually fish out of it instead of my kayak. This made it possible to cover a lot more of the place, learn more about it features and locations, and to catch fish !
On the negative side – the reduction of the weeds across the entire water body has, in my opinion, had a definite impact upon the fishing. This year, 2018, I have been finding the fishing to be much slower than it has ever been here on the reservoir. Now, this could be due to many different reasons but the lack of cover and habitat coupled with the potential of the weed killing chemicals to also lead to fish deaths can’t be overlooked. I am hoping that the ecosystems adapt and recover in the future as the clearer reservoir is definitely more enjoyable for more people now than the weed-choked reservoir was.
A couple of pictures… one sunny, one cloudy, one fishy…
Links to fishing trips here…