June 25, 2015
At New Fairfield, CT
Spent much of the morning at Squantz Pond in New Fairfield, reacquainting myself with this small lake that I expect to mention in the book I am working on, my guide to the Connecticut outdoors.
It is as if Squantz Pond were two ponds. The east shore, paralleled by Route 39, is lined with homes and docks, powerboats moored at most of the docks. The west shore, owned by the state and part of Squantz Pond State Park and Pootatuck State Forest, is hilly, forested and all but entirely undeveloped. They could not be more different.
The lake itself is 270 acres and as much as 40 feet deep, and drains into Candlewood Lake, on the other side of Route 39. Fishing is supposed to be good in Squantz, with largemouth and smallmouth bass, trout and walleyed pike, with the walleye both abundant and fairly large. The northern end of the lake is more shallow and here there are abundant and fairly large carp. Many dozens of them were rooting around the shallows and sometimes flopping on the surface as I paddled. I paddled the entire shoreline of about 4 miles in an hour and 25 minutes.
The state park, at the southern end of the lake, just off Route 39, can be hugely crowded on a hot weekend day in summer, but there were few people around while I explored the lake and the park, from 8 a.m. until about 10:30, on a beautiful day. I suspect plenty of people showed up in the afternoon. From the park, you can follow a trail about a mile along the west shore, through the forest.
The state park has bathrooms, a beach, a nature center, and picnic areas. No alcohol allowed. Interesting that on a summer weekday, with sunshine and warm temperatures, I almost had the lake to myself until at least mid-morning.
I saw plenty of birds as I paddled, including spotted sandpiper, red-winged blackbirds, rough-winged swallows, tree swallows, swifts, mallards, Canada geese, crows, great blue heron, red-shouldered hawk, turkey vulture, grackles, robins, and red-bellied woodpeckers.