Regional Reports-East

Quabbin Reservoir

Massachusetts's Quabbin Reservoir is famed for its abundant populations of lake trout, landlocked salmon and smallmouth bass-all top game fish. But a small core of anglers target a less famous fish here: the white perch. White perch form the largest biomass in the reservoir; that is, there are more pounds of white perch in Quabbin than of any other species of fish. Early in the season, anglers can find these hard-fighting and succulent fish, which average one-half to 11/2 pounds, in shallow-water bays and setbacks throughout the reservoir. They can be fished from boat or shore. Later in the spring big schools of the fish generally frequent water depths in the 35- to 40-foot range over hard bottoms. There is no bag limit on white perch in Quabbin. Large schools of white perch can be encountered in both the western and eastern arms of the reservoir and are available from each of the three boat-launch gates: Gate 8 in Belchertown, Gate 31 in New Salem and Gate 43 in Hardwick. For best results, roll or drift small spinners tipped with a worm or night crawler. Contact: Joe Bergin, fisheries biologist (Field Headquarters, One Rabbit Hill Road, Westboro, MA 01581; 508-792-7270, ext. 136).