Bass fishing on Pepperell Pond - Photo by Jeff Cronstrom

Fishing in the Nashua River Watershed

For those who like to dangle a line, the Nashua River watershed offers some of the best fishing in the Boston/Nashua metropolitan areas.

The Nashua River watershed is home to numerous prized cold-water streams that support native Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), which has been described as “the canary in the coal mine” with regard to water quality. In addition to native trout, MassWildlife stocks the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers, and other watershed streams, with brown, brook, and rainbow trout. The MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has been identifying coldwater fish resources (CFRs) based on fish samples collected by biologists. These CFRs are environmentally sensitive areas where brook, brown or rainbow trout reproduction has been identified.

In addition to the cold-water fisheries, bass fishermen also find great angling spots in the watershed. Pepperell Pond, the impoundment of the mainstem Nashua River above the Pepperell Dam, is a favorite. Both large and small mouth bass abound. Many local bass fishing groups hold their tournaments on Pepperell Pond. MassWildlife’s best bets for bass.

The Nashua River watershed offers some of the best fishing in the Boston/Nashua metropolitan areas – Photo by Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold  The NRWA works to protect the water quality of these fisheries from threats which include stormwater runoff, stream fragmentation, sedimentation and thermal pollution, and invasive water chestnut, all of which have a direct negative impact on sensitive fish species. Volunteers for NRWA’s Water Monitoring Program keep an eye on many of these valuable tributary streams, as well as Pepperell Pond, and identify threats during the routine sampling each month from April through October. We have also worked to control invasive water chestnut on Pepperell Pond, worked with members of the Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited and others to restore stream continuity in a section of Gulf Brook, and worked in various communities on stormwater management.

Protecting water quality in our rivers and streams is what we do, and that means good fishing for you. Enjoy the fisheries in our watershed, and be sure to come back to our site and share your story and photos—what did you catch, what were the stream conditions like, and what might other anglers like to know about your trip--by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Fishing Resources

Massachusetts:

MA Fish and Wildlife
A great general resource for finding places to fish, learning about regulations, where to get fishing licenses, and which streams are stocked and when.

MA Fishing and Boating Access

Mass Wildlife On-line Pond Maps

Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Trout Stocking Locations

MA Fish Consumption Advisories

MA Law Prohibiting Certain Lead Jigs and Sinkers in Fresh Water (Jan. 2012) 

New Hampshire:

NH Fish and Game
A great general resource for finding places to fish, learning about regulations, where to get fishing licenses, and which streams are stocked and when.

NH Fish and Game Boating and Fishing Sites 

NH Fish and Game Fishing Guide 

NH Public Television program on fishing on the Nashua River 

NH Fish Consumption Advisories 

Fishing Groups

Trout Unlimited Chapters:

Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers are home rivers
PO Box 654, Pepperell, MA 01463

Central MA Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Stillwater and Quinapoxet Rivers are home rivers

Bass Clubs (these are just a few of the many area bass clubs):

New England Bass 

Bubba Bassin Club