Tully Lake, Otter River State Forest, and Birch Hill WMA Multiple state and federal agencies combine to protect more than 20,000 acres of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and uplands offering an array of wildlife viewing and recreational options. more info
Herman Covey WMA and McLaughlin Trout Hatchery
Description: The Quabbin Reservoir feeds cold, clear water through Winsor Dam, thereby forming the swift River. Once south of Route 9, much of the river is part of the Covey Wildlife Management Area. In addition to the river frontage, the area is made up of beaver ponds, mixed hardwood forests, and open meadows. The McLaughlin Hatchery is the largest trout rearing facility in the state.
Wildlife to Watch: Make a quick stop at the McLaughlin Trout Hatchery (open 365 days a year from 8a.m. to 4p.m.) to view and feed the six-to-ten-pound rainbow trout in the display pool. Hatchery tours are available to larger groups by reservation.
A hike on the property during simmer months often reveals beavers, great blue herons, red-eyed vireos, and great-crested flycatchers. Look for castings of undigested fur and bone left by barred owls under the dead lower branches of white pine trees. White-tailed deer feed in the meadows in spring and regularly travel to stands of red oak in the fall in search of acorns.
Special Tips: The management area parking lot is opposite DFW’s Connecticut Valley District office. Visit the office during business hours for maps and current wildlife information.
Driving Directions: From the intersection of routes 9 and 202 in Belchertown, take Route 9 east for about 4 miles to a right turn on East Street. Follow East Street for 1 mile to McLaughlin Hatchery. Continue another mile to the district office and management area parking lot.
For more information call DFW @ (413) 323-7632, or the McLaughlin Trout Hatchery @ (413) 323-7671.