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Neponset River

Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

Neponset River midpoint in Canton, Massachusetts.

Neponset River ends in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

24.85 miles long (40.00 kilometers)

449549.32 miles (723479.72 sq kilometers)

About The Neponset River

About Neponset River, MA

Neponset River is a natural inlet situated in the eastern Massachusetts area, right between Quincy and Boston. Neponset Reservoir in Foxborough serves as its source. The entire length of the river comes into contact with several towns, including Walpole, Sharon, Foxborough, Norwood, Canton, Stoughton, Westwood, Milton, and Dedham. It is also gifted with marshlands and freshwater wetlands that run along its entire stretch.

The river is also historically important, having been the source of energy for many of the country’s firsts, including its first water-powered grist mill, paper mill, and gunpowder mill. For this reason, the quality of its water and surrounding watershed has suffered through the years. The lower Neponset, in particular, suffered from stormwater runoff and leakage in septic systems. There are also Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in the sediments in the water, which are not as harmful to humans but pose a danger to the wildlife supported by the watershed. However, thanks to the efforts of the Neponset River Watershed Association, the river, and its watershed are being revived and protected and have since become an important recreational area for many of its residents.

Neponset River Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Neponset River, MA

The Neponset River system is an important habitat for migratory fish such as American shad, American Eel, smelt, white perch, alewife, blueback herring, and chain pickerel. These fish species use the waters of the river as their nursery, feeding, and spawning spot. The river is one of the most significant habitats for smelt runs in the state. 

Meanwhile, the Neponset River Estuary’s brackish water is the water of choice for striped bass and bluefish. Anglers looking specifically for trout will find fishing in the stocked ponds and brooks in the watershed fruitful during March. These bodies of water are stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Other popular fish species that can be fished in the Neponset River are largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, black crappie, and redfin pickerel

Because the Neponset River system touches many towns in eastern Massachusetts, you will find a worthy tributary in many of these towns. Fish for largemouth bass and pumpkinseed in Hawesbrook in Norwood, trout and sunfish in Traphole Brook in Sharon, chain pickerel and black crappie in Ponkapoag Pond in Canton. Fly fishing and kayak fishing are two of the most popular ways to fish in this river system.

Before consuming your catch, though, check with the authorities which of the fish species are safe to consume. Generally, children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers are advised not to consume any fish caught in this water body as they may be contaminated with PCB.

Neponset River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Spring and fall are the best seasons to fish in the Neponset River. In March, many of the brooks and ponds are stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Additionally, during the cold water period of spring, anglers enjoy fishing for bass species, pickerel, and yellow perch. However, if you are targeting these fish during this period, you are advised to be patient and to proceed slowly as they are easily spooked. 

At the height of spring, many anadromous fish species will return to the freshwater or brackish waters to spawn. And finally, from May to October, fishing for striped bass and bluefish is a must.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

Spring and fall are the best seasons to fish in the Neponset River. In March, many of the brooks and ponds are stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Additionally, during the cold water period of spring, anglers enjoy fishing for bass species, pickerel, and yellow perch. However, if you are targeting these fish during this period, you are advised to be patient and to proceed slowly as they are easily spooked. 

At the height of spring, many anadromous fish species will return to the freshwater or brackish waters to spawn. And finally, from May to October, fishing for striped bass and bluefish is a must.

Neponset River Fish Species

All About Fishing in Neponset River, MA

The Neponset River system is an important habitat for migratory fish such as American shad, American Eel, smelt, white perch, alewife, blueback herring, and chain pickerel. These fish species use the waters of the river as their nursery, feeding, and spawning spot. The river is one of the most significant habitats for smelt runs in the state. 

Meanwhile, the Neponset River Estuary’s brackish water is the water of choice for striped bass and bluefish. Anglers looking specifically for trout will find fishing in the stocked ponds and brooks in the watershed fruitful during March. These bodies of water are stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Other popular fish species that can be fished in the Neponset River are largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, black crappie, and redfin pickerel

Because the Neponset River system touches many towns in eastern Massachusetts, you will find a worthy tributary in many of these towns. Fish for largemouth bass and pumpkinseed in Hawesbrook in Norwood, trout and sunfish in Traphole Brook in Sharon, chain pickerel and black crappie in Ponkapoag Pond in Canton. Fly fishing and kayak fishing are two of the most popular ways to fish in this river system.

Before consuming your catch, though, check with the authorities which of the fish species are safe to consume. Generally, children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers are advised not to consume any fish caught in this water body as they may be contaminated with PCB.

Chain Pickerel

Habitat: Lake, River, Pond, Bogs, Swamps

Weight: 3 - 5 Pounds

Length: 14" - 39"

Pumpkinseed

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 1 Pounds

Length: 4" - 16"

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

White Perch

Habitat: inshore

Weight: 0 - 3 Pounds

Length: 7" - 19"