Lake Mattawa

Last Updated: 4/2018
      Lake Mattawa is stocked each spring and fall with rainbow and brown trout. Year-round fishing for trout exists, with peak pressure from April through June. This lake has a reputation for producing trophy trout. The existence of numerous springs and the smelt forage provide the conditions conducive to growing trophy-sized brown trout. Surplus Atlantic salmon were also stocked in Lake Mattawa in the spring of 1992 and 1993, and will continue to be stocked here when they are available. Fishing for the smallmouth bass and yellow perch should also be productive.
      Lake Mattawa is located in the town of Orange just south of Route 2. The water is clear and of good quality with a transparency of 15 feet. The bottom type is predominantly gravel and sand. Aquatic weeds are scant. Historically, 15% of the lake’s volume has registered as trout water in the summer.
      The shoreline is 75% developed with year round homes and summer cottages. Two paved public ramps, both of which are on Lake Mattawa Road, provide boat access areas. Shoreline access is along Holtshire Road and by the boat access areas. Recreational usage in the summer is high, with swimming, fishing and sailing the most popular activities. There is a restriction on the size of the outboard motors (10 hp or less).   A boat launch sign indicates rules.  All motorboats MUST remain at least 150 feet from swimmers, divers, docks, and shoreline.
      The town beach in the south is for residents of Orange only.  There is a sign indicating no launching of canoes.
North Boat Launch
            The boat launch is probably one of the most dangerous of the lakes in western Massachusetts.  The reason is that you actually block the road in order to launch.  All traffic must stop for the launch.  It would be extremely difficult to launch a long boat.
            Parking is roadside.  I am sure the neighborhood must have issues with this.  If you have children with you take care.
            After launching, head directly south toward a tiny island.  If you enjoy observing lake houses like I do, you might like this paddle.  Follow the shore line south to a point of land and follow it around.  The shore leads you back up to Lake Mattawa Road where the second boat launch is.  As you come around the north end you are actually only yards from Route 2 and you can hear the traffic.
East Shore
       Turn South along the shoreline passing homes and docks.  A small peninsula followed by a tiny island brings you the south bay.
South End
       The south bay is quiet water sheltered from any wind.  There is a earthen dam about 150 feet long with a spillway at the east end.  Follow the shore out of the bay and you will find a small cove with homes.  The southwest corner is dominated by a few homes and a very small town beach..
West Shore
       Turn north and follow Holtshire road as you paddle on your left.  The road is so close to the water that there are no homes directly on the shore.  Occasionally there are docks and boat associated with homes across the road.  Follow the shore back up to the boat launch.
Skill Level:             Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Total Distance:      2.3 miles
USGS Map:            Orange, MA (7.5’x15’)

Physical Features:
  • Area:                112 acres
  • Max depth:         40 feet
  • Average Depth:  17 feet
  • Transparency:     15 feet
  • Terrain Type: Homes, Roadway close
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1978
  • 11 species: Stocked rainbow and brown trout, occasional salmon stocked, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, yellow perch, golden shiner, white sucker, brown bullhead and smelt. 
State Pond Map
Lake Mattawa Launch
Position: 42-34.23 N 72-19.62 W​
Boat Launch:
Boat Ramp is short and up against a paved road.  Roadside parking only.
Nearest Launch Address:
115 Lake Mattawa Road, Orange, MA  01364
  • All motor boats must keep 150 feet distant from anchored or moored areas, Skin Divers flags or the shore.
  • No person shall operate a boat on Lake Mattawa which is powered by an internal combustion engine exceeding ten horse power.  
From Route 2 Exit 14 (1.7 miles, 4 minutes)
  1. Take Holtshire Road south for 1.5 miles.
  2. ​Turn left on Lake Mattawa Road.  Boat ramp is 0.1 miles.
From Massachusetts Turnpike Exit 7 Ludlow (33.7 miles, 48 minutes):
  1. After the end of the ramp turn right at the light on to Route 21 North.
  2. At mile 9.6, turn right on to Route 202 North at the town square of Belchertown.
  3. Follow Route 202 north for another 20.3 miles passing miles of woods and Quabbin Reservoir on you’re right with only an occasional view.
  4. At mile 30.6, turn left on Elm Street.
  5. Elm Street becomes Holtshire Road after a mile.  You have the lake on your left, east, at about mile 32.5.
  6. Turn right on Lake Mattawa Road.  Boat ramp is 0.1 miles.
A very short boat ramp right on the road.