Webster Lake NAM-39

Riparian Nation(s) USA
Surface Area 25 km2 Mean Depth 5.7 m Volume 0.14 km3
Shoreline 69 km Catchment Area 43 km2 Residence Time 0.56 yr
Frozen Period Nov-Mar Mixing Type Dimictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


The Webster Lake Watershed spans two municipals in the south-central portion of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The total watershed consists of approximately 11,432 acres, contains two major lakes, numerous small ponds and an extensive system of tributaries. The majority of the watershed - 8,363 acres (73.2% of the total basin) - is in the eastern portion of the town of Andover, New Hampshire. The watershed can be considered typical of the Lakes Region in New Hampshire. Vast forested areas and agricultural corn fields are broken only by scattered single-family dwellings which parallel existing road networks, with dwelling concentrations around typical "village" layouts.

The watershed is dominated by Highland Lake in Andover, and Webster Lake in Franklin. The two lakes are connected by Sucker Brook, the largest of the many tributaries within the watershed. Webster Lake (612 acres) is the larger of the two lakes, being 1.6 miles in length by 1.0 mile wide.

Presently, approximately 90% of the 4.3 miles of shoreline is developed. The lake is subject to extensive recreational use. The lake, at an elevation of 401 feet above sea level, has an average depth of 19 feet, a maximum depth of 45 feet, and has two public beaches and one public launch.

A priority list developed by the Department of Environmental Services' Biology Bureau has rated Webster Lake as high for both restoration and preservation. The lake is located within 25 miles of the Capitol City of Concord and is also within 25 miles of the City of Laconia.

An earlier Water Quality Management Investigation of Wabster Lake in 1980, revealed that Sucker Brook, the main tributary to Webster Lake accounted for approximately 67% of the total water input to the lake, drains about 80% of the entire watershed area and is responsible for approximately 63% of the phosphorus loading to the lake during a normalized year.

The trophic classification of Webster Lake was determined to be mesotrophic, based on data collected and a comparison with the trophic classification System for New Hampshire Lakes and Ponds. These guidelines were formulated to classify New Hampshire lakes and ponds for the federal "Clean Lakes" program. A total of six points were awarded to Webster Lake based on this rating system. This ranked Webster Lake as number 24 on the priority list for restoration.

An on-site inspection of the Webster Lake watershed revealed several agricultural areas which were in close proximity to Sucker Brook or had feeder streams flowing into Sucker Brook as possible sources of nutrient loads.

Many of the recommendations suggested in the Water Quality Management Investigation of Webster Lake deal with stricter ordinances around the lake and best management practices. The report calls for proper agricultural management implementation at individual farms sites (1).

Photo of Webster Lake
Photo: Dufresne - Henry Inc.