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Saugatuck Reservoir is an outdoor person's wonderland with great fishing, wonderful hiking, a unique landscape and a plethora of woodland and marsh birds and animals. Wildlife viewing is superb with fox, bobcat, lynx, coyote, deer, turkey, hawks, beaver, eagles, falcons, and infrequent moose being just some of the visitors. Saugatuck Reservoir is relatively remote, but centered in a highly congested area of southern Connecticut near the town of Redding. The beautiful area around the reservoir gives rise to gorgeous sunsets, spring rain promoting great wildflower viewing and a peacefulness found like few other places. The Aquarion Water Company (formerly Bridgeport Hydraulic Company) along with The Nature Conservancy, Aspetuck Land Trust and a number of smaller parties achieved an unparalleled land preservation accomplishment with Connecticut establishing the Centennial Watershed State Forest including Saugatuck Reservoir. This created a pristine outdoor environment and prevented any development in the area.
Saugatuck Reservoir is at an elevation of 280 feet and was formed by the Samuel P. Senior Dam impounding the Saugatuck River. It was built by the Bridgeport Water Company primarily for a water source and conservation. The 1941 completion of the dam certainly met its goal, successfully supplying excellent quality water to thousands of Connecticut residents, now as Aquarion Water Company.
Saugatuck Reservoir is a relative unknown outdoor recreation area and part of its charm is in its untouched feeling for hikers and shore anglers. There is no boating, camping or development around or near the reservoir. The dozens of miles of a variety of hiking trails (easy to strenuous) give access to great wildlife viewing and interaction with nature - be careful in the summer, resident goshawks are fiercely protective of nests and young.
As one would expect, fishing is excellent and thousands of rainbow and brown trout are stocked each spring. Anglers will be able to catch bluegill, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and rock bass. A wheelchair accessible dock has been made available at the intersection of Davis Hill Road and Valley Road in Weston.
In Keeping with Saugatuck Reservoir's wilderness feeling, there are over 200 geocaches nearby, many easy to find. Like many geocaches, they are located in quite picturesque sites.
NOTE TO HIKERS AND ANGLERS: A fishing permit and hiking permit are required around the reservoir. These are obtainable from the Aquarion Water Company (see the link below) and enforcement personnel patrol the area.
Saugatuck Reservoir is for the outdoor person, angler or someone who just wants some peace and quiet with the added benefit of fewer visitors. It's a wonderful experience of nature's best.
Reference: A Fisheries Guide to Lakes and Ponds of Connecticut, published by the Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, Connecticut, 2002
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