There are many varieties of fish in Great East Lake. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, this includes:

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Horned Pout
  • White Perch
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill


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Great East Lake has a maximum depth of over 100 feet, with a large volume of cold, well-oxygenated water and rocky shorelines, and is well suited for lake trout. Lake trout (touge), introduced in 1956, have become established and have grown very well over the years. Smallmouth bass can be found around the rocky shores and various rock outcroppings. Largemouth bass, pickerel and the smaller species can found in the shallow, marshy areas especially in the rivers and basins.

There hasn’t been much stocking of the lake in recent years, but NH Fish and Game reports stocking around 2,000 rainbow trout a year, as recently as 2022.

Anyone who has fished Great East over the years can tell you the fishing isn’t what it used to be, but there’s still fish to be had with a little patience and creativity.

Fishing Licenses

A Maine or New Hampshire fishing license is required for Great East Lake. Maine and New Hampshire have reciprocity agreements for interstate lakes like GEL, so you only need a license from one of the two states to fish the entire lake.

Get the lead out!

Fishing lead free is important to protect our loons and other water birds, and it’s also the law. Current state law prohibits the use of lead sinkers and jigs with a total weight of one ounce or less in all fresh water in New Hampshire, including lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Lead sinkers and lead jigs shall not include lead fishing related items including but not limited to lead core line, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, poppers, plugs, or flies.

Additional information about online licensing, fishing rules and stocking can be found at:

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

New Hampshire Fish and Game

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