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Thousand Acre Lake, East Indies Pond
and Lake Windemere  

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Last Updated: 9/2014
 Fishing Thousand Acre Lake
       This quiet mountain lake is ideal for bass fishermen, and in general must be considered one of the better warm water fishing ponds in the Western District. There is so much cover from the weed beds and structure formed by tree stumps that anglers have difficulty deciding where to fish!
       Large bass are relatively common. The best sport is to try for them with surface lures, which are very popular and effective during late spring and throughout the summer. Weed-less jigs or spoons tipped with pork rind tails and retrieved slowly are also effective, particularly in the spring and fall.
       This is also an excellent ice fishing pond. Yellow perch in the 9 to 11 inch size range are abundant and can be jigged up in numbers. While not as abundant as the bass, there are some very nice pickerel here, and most large examples are taken through the ice. A small stocking of tiger muskie fingerlings in 1985 has failed to result in any significant return of legal size (28 inches) fish, but there is always the possibility that a large tiger muskie will turn up here on the end of some lucky angler’s tip-up.
 
Description:
      Clearly, these ponds are real gems for some one wanting to be close to nature and isolated.  If you are looking for a long paddle or a person only want to paddle for exercise, this is not the place for you.  Truly, this involves some walking, paddling, and portaging.
 
Thousand Acre Lake
      Sometimes called Thousand Acre Swamp or Thousand Acre Swamp Reservoir, it has a twenty-eight-foot-high dam that controls the water level. The watershed drainage area of the pond is approximately 3314 acres and includes land north up to Route 57 which is the approximate boundary of the Farmington River watershed to the east. This pond is in the immediate Blackberry River watershed, which drains into the Housatonic River.
       Begin your paddle from the boat ramp and head south. At 0.3 miles you will enter a cove with the dam.  This is the only land area with grass areas.  At the south end of the pond begins continuous forested shore.  Follow north along the east shore.  After passing a brook entering you come to campsite with a fire circle.  This is where you portage to East India Pond.
      Now continue north and you will come to a second brook.  If you paddle up a short ways you will come to a Beaver Dam that is over 4 feet high.  Near the brook is another campsite with a picnic table.  Follow trees and shoreline around the north end and back to the boat launch.
 
Portage between Ponds (0.3 miles)
      Directly across from the put-in, is a campsite where you can begin your portage.  (There is a second one with a picnic table just north of this point.) Follow the trail east.  ATV’s have used some of this area and make finding the right trail difficult.  The trail always stays north of the brook that connects the two ponds.  After 0.3 miles you will come to a low-lying earthen dam.  You can launch here and make your way into East India Pond.
 
East Indies Pond
      It has been reported that this is a good place for small mouth bass.  I don’t believe there is any stocking of this pond because of access.   That be said, I have never seen another person on the shore or in a boat.  It may be possible to fish from shore but a boat is the way to go.  As you paddle around the pond, you will find the shore filled with mountain laurels.  When they are in bloom, it is beautiful.
      The northeast shore is dominated by Wolf Swamp.  This nearly inaccessible swamp is a unique bird area.  Return to Thousand Acre Pond the same way you got here.
 
Windermere Lake is Private or not Private?
      The dam at Windemere Lake was built and is maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers.  The road that goes around this lake is private.  It is owned by a community of exclusive and wealthy people who own the homes.  Since there is no designated public access, it is questionable whether the public can use this lake. This lake covers one hundred acres of land and drains directly into the popular Thousand Acre Swamp.
     Cookson State Forest map includes the dam and a portion of the lake as well as most of the other two lakes.  Anyone with information please contact us.  Thanks.
STATISTICS

Thousand Acre Lake:
Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Total Distance       3.3 miles
      Thousand Acre Pond: 2.0 miles
       Portage: 0.3 miles    
USGS Map:  South Sandisfield, MA  (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:  88 Hotchkiss Rd, Sandisfield, MA 01255
Position: 42-04.22 N 73-12.65 W

East Indies Pond:
Estimated time: 1 hour
Total Distance: 1.3 miles
Position: 42-04.05 N 73-11.80 W
Launch: Take portage trail from Thousand Acre Lake to the little Mill Pond and paddle into East Indies Pond.

Physical Features for Thousand Acre Lake:
  • Area:              155 acres
  • Max depth:         8 feet
  • Average Depth:  4 feet
  • Transparency:    4 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, State Park
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1980
  • 6 species: chain pickerel, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, golden shiner and white sucker.
 
Put In and Take Out: (24.7 miles, about 42 minutes)
  • From Interstate 90, Massachusetts Turnpike Exit 2 Lee, MA
  • After tollbooths, turn left at light and pass under highway.
  • Turn immediately right on Route 102 West and follow to Stockbridge.
  • At mile 4.7, turn left on Route 7 South.  The Red Lion Inn is on the corner.
  • At stoplight, mile 10.9, turn left on Route 23 East/183 South.
  • Pass Butternut Ski Area and continue.
  • At mile 14.4, turn right on to Route 57 East, Route 183 South toward New Marlboro.
  • At mile 15.0 the road becomes Mill River Great Barrington Road.
  • At mile 17.7 County Road enters on your left, make a slight left to continue on Mill River Great Barrington Road.
  • At mile 20.0, at the town green in New Marlboro, turn right on Southfield Road.
  • At mile 21.3 make a slight left on to Norfolk Road.
  • At mile 24.2, turn left on Hochkiss Road. You will immediately pass over a small stream.
  • At mile 24.7, arrive at boat launch on right.
 
     Access is provided by a Public Access Board concrete pad ramp suitable for shallow draft boats, car top boats and canoes. The parking area has space for approximately eight vehicles.
    
 
    
State Pond Map
Boat Ramp
Lake Windermere
Thousand Acre Pond view from Boat Ramp