Lake Management

Lake Management

Q:  Where can I find information about Onota Lake?

A:  Onota Lake is a 617-acre lake located entirely within the City of Pittsfield, and is owned and managed by the City of Pittsfield.  Many recreational opportunities are provided by the lake and are enjoyed by area residents as well as those visiting the Berkshires.  Please refer to the Onota Lake section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.


Q:  Where can I find information on boating laws and boating safety?

A:  Please refer to the Harbormaster section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for information on boating laws and boating safety.  The Pittsfield Harbormaster directs, coordinates, and is responsible for all the navigable waterways of the city of Pittsfield.  He ensures that all waterways and town owned waterfront facilities are used in a safe, environmentally friendly and lawful manner.


Q:  Where can I find information about fishing at Onota Lake?

A:  Due to its location, Onota Lake is very heavily used by anglers, bathers, water skiers and sailors.  Even so, the lake is in very good condition with a transparency of about 17 feet.  Maximum depth is 66 feet; average depth is around 22 feet.

This lake has an exceptionally diverse array fish species, including northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, rock bass, brown bullhead, white sucker, carp, golden shiner, common shiner and rainbow smelt. There are also reports of white catfish. Bonus broodstock Atlantic salmon (some weighing more than 10 pounds) in the spring of 1992 and 1993.  The dominant fishery here involves the catchable trout.  Please refer to the Onota Lake section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.


Q:  What are Zebra Mussels?

A:  Zebra and Quagga Mussels are freshwater, bivalve mollusks that typically have a dark and white (zebra-like) pattern on their shells.  They are alien to North America but have invaded many of our waters.  Both species, Zebra Mussels and Quagga Mussels, in general, are usually about an inch or less long, but may be larger.  When healthy, they attach to hard substrates, much like marine (saltwater) mussels but unlike any native freshwater bivalve.  They are often found in clusters.  They adhere to all hard surfaces, including the shells of native mussels, turtles, and crustaceans.  Zebra/Quagga mussels actively feed on green-algae and may increase the proportion of foul-smelling blue-green algae in water systems.  Prolonged occupancy of Zebra Mussels can lead to drastic reduction in fish population and can be dangerous to recreational lake users.  Please refer to the Zebra Mussels in the Berkshires section of the Department of Community Development’s webpages for more information.


 

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