Manchaug Pond is an important recreational fishery throughout the year whether you’re a fishing club scheduling a bass tournament or just a kid looking for the quick-fighting catch of a bluegill. The state boat ramp, managed by the town of Sutton, offers easy-on access with a $6 . in state fee and $12. out-of-state day fee or a $20 season pass for Mass residents available at the town hall. A port-o-let facility is available. Be sure to visit the stormwater structures at the ramp and the information kiosk installed with a MassDEP Non-point Source Pollution Grant administered by the Manchaug Pond Foundation in cooperation with the Town of Sutton to improve water quality.
Boaters should take care leaving the ramp and on the water as Manchaug is a shallow lake with large rocks present, around the a submerged rock wall at the channel, several islands, and a submerged sandbar.
FISHING MANCHAUG POND:
LICENSES: A Massachusetts freshwater fishing license is required of anyone 15 years and over. Younger anglers are not licensed but must follow all freshwater fishing laws concerning daily limit and minimum catch size. Licenses are free for ages 15 -17 and 70 and older.
THE CATCH: Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife reports: “The fishing pressure is intense, and bass over a pound or two are decidedly scare. This is a good pond to fish for bass in early spring, before the recreational boat traffic becomes distracting. Perch fishing is generally good, although average perch size is around 7-8 inches, with white perch predominating. The bluegills are very good, with plenty of fish 8 inches or better. Pickerels are scare, but lunkers are regularly taken through the ice. While pike are no longer stocked here, the possibility of catching a very large example from the 1989 stocking will remain for some years to come.”
Surveys conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife have revealed 10 species:
Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Brown bullhead (Amelurus nebulosus), Chain pickerel (Esox niger), Golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas), Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), White perch (Morone americana), and Yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Additionally, the pond has been historically stocked with northern pike (Esox lucieus) and tiger muskellunge (Esox lucius x Esox masquinongy), with the last stocking occurring in 1989, and are stillcaught by fishermen today.
An unnamed tributary to Manchaug Pond, located on private property, is a significant coldwater fishery resource supporting multiple year classes of native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). An electrofishing survey performed by MassWildlife staff on July 15, 2008 yielded 120 native brook trout as well as white suckers (Catastomus commersoni), yellow bullheads (Ameiurus natalis) and blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus).
Manchaug Pond plays an important role as a headwater of the Mumford River in the Blackstone River watershed by linking this cold-water fishery with the river. Summer high water levels in the pond are needed to maintain these populations in both the stream and the pond. Coldwater resources are highly susceptible to changes in water quality and/or quantity such as siltation, water level fluctuations and alterations of the temperature regime.
Source: Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife