By Nancy West, InDepthNH.org
CAMBRIDGE, NH — It’s almost time to pack up your fishing gear and head north to Umbagog Lake in Coos County where you’ll find launching your boat a lot easier this year with the addition of a new seasonal dock built and soon-to-be installed by the folks at New Hampshire Fish and Game.
One of the most pristine wilderness lakes in New Hampshire, Umbagog Lake is known for its smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout and northern pike. And for getting good and wet while launching your boat at the existing boat launch in Cambridge, although that will change with the addition of the newly built seasonal dock.
The dock will be installed in early June and make launching a boat a much drier and more stable endeavor, according to Fish and Game Director Glenn Normandeau.
This week Normandeau and District 1 Executive Councilor Joe Kenney, who was instrumental in obtaining the $53,000 federal grant for the dock, inspected it at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before it hits the water.
“This will make it more comfortable to access the boat while launching,” Kenney said. “The fishing community and outdoor community spend a lot of time there.”
Normandeau said the dock was built at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.
“We built these here in the shop and they’ll go up to do the work,” Normandeau said of the two men who built it. “We do a lot of boat ramp work with our own crew.”
Normandeau and Kenney also met with Alan Moody, the engineer technician, who worked building the dock with Jeff Preve.
Umbagog runs 11 miles north to south and covers 7,850 acres, making it the biggest lake on the New Hampshire/Maine border.
The boat launch can be accessed off Route 26 in Cambridge. The lake is part of both the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge and Umbagog Lake State Park.
Once the season is over, the dock will be dragged to shore for the winter.
There are a lot of people who own camps in Errol and Milan, Normandeau said. And the lake is a huge draw for people who love fishing and the outdoors, he said.
According to the website for the Division of State Parks and Recreation, “Umbagog Lake State Park includes a base park campground with 27 sites with electrical and water hook-ups available, three cabins, 33 remote campsites and four remote cabins in isolated locations around Umbagog Lake accessible only by boat.”
And the website explains: Pronounced Um-‘bay’-gog, the lake name is Abenaki for shallow water. The Abenaki were members of a Native American tribe that resided in the area. The lake has an average depth of 12-14 feet.
The 2018 camping season for remote campsites will be May 18 to Oct. 21 and the basecamp camping season will be from May 18 to Sept. 4. Reservations for remote campsites and basecamp site reservations are now open and more information can be obtained here.