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Ipswich River

Essex County, Massachusetts.

Ipswich River midpoint in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Ipswich River ends in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

31.50 miles long (50.70 kilometers)

518010.40 miles (833657.18 sq kilometers)

About The Ipswich River

About Ipswich River, MA

The Ipswich River is northeastern Massachusetts’ primary source of clean water. Located in Essex County, just north of Boston, the river also serves as a habitat for many endangered or rare animals in Massachusetts. The river begins at Burlington and passes through several towns as it makes its way to the Atlantic via Ipswich Bay. The river passes through Wilmington, Reading, North Reading, Peabody, Middleton, Topsfield, Hamilton, and finally Ipswich, where it got its name.

Ipswich River passes through several wildlife preserve areas and State parks, such as the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bradley Palmer State Park. These parks allow visitors to experience the beauty of nature while still being close to an urban area. The parks also offer visitors a chance to canoe or kayak, go hiking, and other outdoor activities. 

After several dams have been built since the colonial period, the Ipswich River has been called the poster child of Massachusetts’ outdated water system. Eighty percent of its waters are exported out of its watersheds, and 90% of these withdrawals are exempt from conservation laws. This leads to entire sections of the river running dry, even in non-drought years. Because of this, new anti-drought legislation and regulations are being implemented to preserve the river.

Ipswich River Fishing Description

All About Fishing In Ipswich River, MA

Ipswich River remains a favorite among anglers who want to catch trout in Southern New England despite various problems. You can find multiple fish here, from largemouth bass, brown and rainbow trout, shad, smallmouth, and striped bass. Species that require river flow to flourish are at a disadvantage, while species that thrive in warm waters are plentiful in the area. This is due to the ecological effects of water withdrawal and the building of dams in the area. Efforts are now being made to remedy this problem -- from water conservation efforts to stocking the area with gamefish and their food. 

Fly fishing is a prevalent form of fishing in the Ipswich River because of its beautiful scenery. Some of the most common fishing spots in the area are Stiles Pond, Hood Pond, downstream of the Willowdale Dam in Hamilton, Mill Street in Reading, and below the S. Middleton Dam off Boston Street in Middleton. Another form of fishing that is encouraged here is catch and release. Because of the river’s condition, anglers are encouraged to catch only what they could consume and return those they can’t back into the water so that the number of fish won’t dwindle. 

Kayak and canoe fishing are also popular here, especially if you’re planning on angling in the river’s tributaries and on Wenham swamp, a place where a lot of fish tend to hide. There are also fishing charters here that offer their services to first-time visitors in the river. Fishing in the Ipswich river requires a fishing license for ages 15 and above. Those who wish to cast their line here must register to get a fishing license to avoid trouble with the authorities. 

Ipswich River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality 

Fishing in the Ipswich river could be done throughout the year. But it is recommended that you go there during the months of April-July, and then in October if you wish to catch a lot of striped bass. During these warm months, the fish are most active, which makes them easier to catch. You can also do ice fishing during the winter months, though you won’t catch much during these months, as the fish here aren’t as active. 

Do note that because the river suffers from extreme low-flow to no-flow during the warmer months, there might not be many fishing spots for you to go through. There are also dams in the area; the water level might vary depending on when you go there. Ensure that your trip won’t be for naught to check the dams’ water release schedules. 

Ipswich River Fishing Charters & Fishing Guides

address

Winthrop, MA

25ft - 6 guests

Starting as low as

$550

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality 

Fishing in the Ipswich river could be done throughout the year. But it is recommended that you go there during the months of April-July, and then in October if you wish to catch a lot of striped bass. During these warm months, the fish are most active, which makes them easier to catch. You can also do ice fishing during the winter months, though you won’t catch much during these months, as the fish here aren’t as active. 

Do note that because the river suffers from extreme low-flow to no-flow during the warmer months, there might not be many fishing spots for you to go through. There are also dams in the area; the water level might vary depending on when you go there. Ensure that your trip won’t be for naught to check the dams’ water release schedules. 

Ipswich River Weather Forecast

Mon

77°F

Clouds

Highs

77

Feels 77

Winds

5mph

Humidity

61