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Richmond Pond

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Last Updated: 4/2016
Fishing
     The main draw for anglers at this pond is the excellent trout fishing which is produced by the MDFW through annual plants of catchable trout every spring. Rainbows are the bread and butter of this fishery, but brown trout and even brookies are sometimes stocked as well. Trout can survive here throughout the year, with some individuals attaining weights of 5 or more pounds. In general, however, most trout are caught within a month or two of their release. Trolling for them with small spinners, tiny spoons or streamers seem to be the most effective technique here.
     Most of the other fish present are unimportant to the fishery. The chain pickerel and yellow perch provide some ice fishing action, but the pickerel aren’t large and the perch are not very plentiful. The largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill and black crappie are present in such low numbers they are incapable of supporting a fishery. (1993)
   
Description:
    Richmond is a small, rural community located in Berkshire County. It abuts the New York State border and lies just south of the City of Pittsfield, where many of its residents work.
      Richmond Pond fills a depression scraped from the limestone-and-marble bedrock by advancing glaciers thousands of years ago.  It lies at about 1,100 feet elevation in a narrow valley just east of the Taconic Mountains that rise to about 1,700 feet near the pond.  To the west, the elevated ridge of Lenox Mountain climbs to an elevation of about 2,000 feet.  The western half of the lke is shallow, with an average depth of less than ten feet.
     Much of the southern and eastern shoreline is heavily developed, with approximately 100 seasonal cottages and year round dwellings.  There are three camps on the lake - Camp Russell (Boys & Girls Club), Lakeside Christian Camp & Conference Center, and Camp Marion White (Girl Scouts).
     The northwest shore harbors the public access concrete boat launch, which is suitable for car top and shallow draft trailer boats; the parking lot can hold up to 30 vehicles. 
At the far end of the northwest shore is the Richmond town beach (for Richmond and Pittsfield residents only), with a large tract of undeveloped wetland and forest in between.  The town beach is gated and is operated in summer for Richmond and Pittsfield residents only.
     Railroad tracks run the length of the northwest shore a few yards from the lake.  To the southwest of the lake is an extensive wetland, Nordeen Marsh, covering about 250 acres.  It can be reached from the pond by canoe or kayak.  
 
WEST SIDE
            Leave the boat ramp and head north.  A small brook enters the lake.  You should be able to see a bridge that crosses the brook.  As you travel north, you will come upon the town beach.
 
NORTH SIDE
            There is a cove at the furthest point north bordered by the railroad tracks on its’ west and woods on the east.  As you continue along to the north, you will come upon a group of buildings.  This is Lakeside Christian Camp & Conference Center, formerly Camp Allegro.  There is a spill way at 0.7 miles that you can easily approach which is the outlet of the pond.  There is also a beach with a half circle of cabins.
 
EAST SIDE
      At about 1.0 miles to about 1.2 miles is Camp Marion White for Girl Scouts.  This 48 acre camp offers a special emphasis on swimming and boating. There is a small island with a bridge and a small beach.
     Travel south along the east side where there are many summer homes.  Some have small docks and private beaches.  You will next pass Tracy Brook where it enters the lake. 
 
SOUTH SIDE
       At 1.4 miles, the south side of the lake begins.  Again, there are many houses along this shore.  Some of these homes are year round.
       At 2.0 miles, there is a cove and then a point of land that marks the entrance to a stream.  The last time I paddle this, a muskrat dove underwater and I watched with awe as it traveled under my bow and down the side of the pond.  To finish the pond trip, continue northwest and then north for the last 0.3 of a mile to the take out.  If you are up for a little adventure, then follow the southwest stream paddle below.
 
STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour  (2.5 hours with southwest stream)    
Total Distance:       2.8 miles (Stream Paddle 2.5 miles)    
USGS Map:       Pittsfield West, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:    

Town Beach Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201
(Near Railroad Tracks)

Boat Launch:     Large State Boat Launch near beach.
Position:     42-24.95 N  73-19.85 W
 
Physical Features:
  • Area:                  218 acres
  • Max depth:         53 feet
  • Average Depth:  18 feet
  • Transparency:    13 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, State Park
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1978
  •     Stocked rainbow mostly with some brown and brook trout.  Ice fish for chain pickerel and yellow perch. Largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill and black crappie are all others found in very low numbers.    
   
   
Put-In/Take-Out - 7.1 miles
  • From US Route 90, Massachusetts Turnpike, take    Exit 1, West Stockbridge. 
  • After the tollbooths, turn right and immediately left on Route 41 North and Route 102 West.
  • Travel into town. As the road turns left over a bridge, turn right on to Swamp Road (Mile 0.5).
  • Travel 5.3 miles then turn left onto Boys Club Road (Mile 5.9) with Bartlett's Orchard Farm Market on the opposite corner (Good Cider Donuts!).
  • This becomes Richmond Shores Road (Mile 6.0).
  • Turn left onto Town Beach Road (Mile 6.5). Follow the road NW and then North to the state boat ramp.
    

State Pond Map
Boat Launch
Boat Launch Parking
Richmond Pond Association
Mission
    To preserve, protect, maintain and enhance the rural, environmental, recreational, esthetic and economic values of Richmond Pond.

Our Objectives​
  1. Promote public education about the mission of the association and the importance of preserving and protecting Richmond Pond, its watershed and the other wetland values associated with the pond.
  2. Work with the town, regional, state and federal governmental bodies and environmental and planning agencies and organizations to facilitate financial support for pond preservation and protection, including repairs to the dam and other infrastructure, and to improve environmental regulations pertaining to lake and watershed management.
  3. Serve as an active member of the Lakes and Ponds Association of Western Massachusetts and its affiliates and other appropriate agencies and organizations.
  4. Establish an information base relative to the management of Richmond Pond.
  5. Create a plan that will guide the Association’s efforts in meeting these objectives.
Richmond Pond Association
Nordeen Marsh and Southwest Stream
      Pass under Shore Road and then Town Beach Road, a canoe or kayak can easily manage these.  (2016 - Because of beavers a barrier now blocks this passage.  You must portage over the road.)  You finally enter a swamp area in a narrow stream.  Stay alert as you may see all types of wildlife.  You can make this trip as long or short as you want.  At approximately 0.25 miles from Town Beach Road, you need to pull your boat over the first of four beaver dams.  The first three are small with the main beaver lodge at the third dam.  The fourth is at about 0.5 miles and is about 4 feet high, impressive!  The beaver pond is quite large.
       You can explore the pond following the track I show on the map.  Let me know if you found any other paths with an email.  Travel back to the pond and then to the take-out at the boat ramp.
Beaver Barrier - Shore Road