Charles River Basin
This fertile, 478-acre impoundment is located approximately one mile west of Boston City Hall. While the surrounding urban countryside is heavily developed, the immediate shoreline has been preserved as a greenbelt parkway. As a result, shoreline access on both sides of the basin is excellent. Boat access is extremely limited, however; most boats are launched outside the basin and either motored downstream or up through the locks. The only paved launching ramp, located on the northwest corner of the basin, remains in poor condition and is often closed.
Aquatic vegetation is scant and the transparency of the brown water is limited to three feet or less.
Fish Populations: golden shiner, white perch, alewife, tomcod, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, white sucker, white catfish, northern pike, chain pickerel and brown bullhead. Striped bass and American shad were not sampled, although they are known to enter the basin. Largemouth bass are also encountered frequently.
Once shunned because of its historic record of pollution, the Charles River Basin is now regarded as one of the best urban fisheries in the Northeast. The enforcement of anti-pollution laws, the implementation of pollution abatement technology and (perhaps most important) the efforts of an extremely active and effective watershed protection organization have restored the quality of this once neglected resource. Panfish in particular are now available in abundance, providing hours of fishing fun and excellent table fare.
Due to the high density of people in the surrounding area, anglers can expect the shorelines to be heavily used by sunbathers, joggers, rollerbladers and bicyclists. Sailboats, powerboats and organized collegiate rowing practices are common on the water. Fishermen fit right into this urban tapestry, and can often have a great time sharing their skills and knowledge while catching plenty of fish.
Aquatic vegetation is scant.
Structure is fairly abundant in the form of bridge abutments, sunken piers and dock pilings.
Worms and jigs, fished around the bridges and pilings, account for most of the action on perch, bullheads and catfish. Bass anglers who concentrate on structure will also be pleased. Best bass areas seem to be the western third of the basin and sections of riprap along the southern shoreline.