Lake Francis

Lake Francis a 2,000 acre lake lying south of First Connecticut Lake, in the Connecticut Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  Surrounded by mountains and hills, this man-made reservoir lies in the towns of Pittsburg and Clarksville. North of the 45th Parallel, the lake, impounded by Murphy Dam was built in 1940 as a flood control project. The 117-foot earthen dam is owned by the state of New Hampshire DES Water Division and operated by the power company TransCanada. The capacity of the reservoir is 131,375 acre feet.

CT Valley before Murphy DamAnglers come to the area to fish the deep waters for brown trout, rainbows, lake trout and landlocked salmon and to fish for cusk, brown trout and lake trout in winter. Lake Francis is considered by many to be the best lake to ice fish in winter. Notable inflows include Labrador Brook and Cedar Stream.

Vacationers enjoy kayaking and canoeing the lake.

Fishing Regulations

Brook Trout – Fishing season begins on the fourth Saturday of April through October 15th. Daily limit is five fish or five pounds whichever comes first with no length limit.

Lake Trout – Fish for lake trout from January 1 until September 30. 2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 18 inches. Daily bag limit for lake trout is 2 fish.

Salmon – Fish for landlocked salmon from April 1 until September 30. 2 fish daily limit. Minimum length 15 inches. Daily bag limit for salmon is 2 fish.

Daily bag limit for lake trout and salmon is 2 fish (2 lake trout, 2 salmon, or 1 of each).

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is permitted on the lake from January 1 thru March 31. Only two trap (lines) are permitted be angler. Daily bag limit for lake trout is 2 fish and the minimum length is 18 inches. Daily bag limit for brook trout is 5 fish or 5 lbs with no minimum length. There is no length minimum or daily limit for cusk. For more on fishing Lake Francis, visit NH Fish and Game for more information on fishing the Connecticut Lakes Region.

Boat Launches on Lake Francis

There are two boat launches on Lake Francis in Pittsburg.

  • There is a developed launch on US Rte 3. There is a picnic area with picnic tables. There is ample parking for vehicles and trailers.
  • Follow River Road to just past the Lake Francis State Campground. There you’ll find a gravel launch, ample parking and and picnic area.

Boating Regulations

Persons 16 years old and older who operate a motorboat over 25 hp or a ski craft in New Hampshire must have a boating education certificate.


  • Surface elevation: 1,379′
  • Area: 3.022 sq miles
  • GPS: 45°5′37″N 71°14′52″W
  • Length: 5.4 miles
  • Width: 1.3 miles
  • Outflow location: Murphy Dam / Connecticut River
  • Inflow source: Connecticut River
  • Cities: Pittsburg / Clarksville

Depth Contour Chart



Download Map PDF

Lake Francis Map

Lake Francis Ice Fishing Video

Know the Difference: Salmon and Brown Trout