The Quinebaug River


The Quinebaug River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut, with watershed extending into western Rhode Island. The river is about 80 miles in length. It originates from an unnamed pond near Mashapaug Pond in Union, Connecticut, and ponds northwest of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, flows generally southeast and south through Connecticut (Putnam, Danielson, Plainfield, Canterbury and Jewett City), the river joins Aspinook pond which begins in Canterbury and ends in Jewett City.

The river then continues to the Shetucket River northeast of Norwich. That river flows from there into the Thames River and drains into the Long Island Sound. It is dammed in its upper reaches at East Brimfield Dam, Westville Dam, and West Thompson Dam all for flood control, as well as numerous mill dams which powered mills along the river's course. Some of these still provide hydroelectric power today.

The Quinebaug River watershed covers 850 square miles, and extends into western Rhode Island. It is heavily forested with 29 named streams including six major tributaries (the French, Moosup and Five Mile Rivers, and the Wales, Mill and Cady brooks).

The watershed also contains 54 lakes and ponds, 31 of which with an area of 10 acres or more, for a total of about 3,000 acres; the largest is East Brimfield Reservoir in Brimfield and Sturbridge (420 acres)

The watershed is home to fish species including trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish. Elevations range from 1,264 feet above sea level on Mount Pisgah in Wales, Massachusetts, to about 25 ft in Norwich, Connecticut.