Lakes & Reservoirs
City of Portsmouth-Owned Lakes in Suffolk
Lakes Kilby, Cohoon, and Meade are reservoirs in the City of Suffolk owned by the City of Portsmouth and serve as popular destinations for anglers in search of large-mouth bass, crappie, chain pickerel, and redear sunfish. During the summer, all three lakes offer riparian edges and weedy banks that are havens for sunbathing dragon- and damselflies.
Lake Cohoon is 510 acres and offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, chain pickerel, bluegill and redear sunfish. It produces several six-pound chain pickerel each winter and is consistently one of the district's top producers of big fish. The lake is also one of the district's top producers of big crappie. Motors (up to 9.9 horsepower) are allowed. Bank fishing is limited to the shore at the fishing station, excluding the dam’s mouth.
Lake Kilby is a colonial era millpond. The upper half of this 222-acre is a dense and very scenic cypress swamp. The water is dark-tannin stained and slightly acidic. Under these conditions, fish such as flier, warmouth, chain pickerel, and black crappie flourish. Other sport fish in Kilby include bluegill, redear and large-mouth bass. The bluegills are very dark in color (in response to the dark stained water) and are known locally as "black bream." Pickerel fishing is best during the winter months; for the other sport fish, its spring and fall.
Lake Meade is the youngest Portsmouth water supply lake. It was impounded in 1960 on the mainstem of the Nansemond River. It is horseshoe shaped with Lakes Kilby and Speight's Run on one arm and Lake Cohoon on the other. The lake is 512 acres and has a maximum depth of about 25 feet.
Speight's Run is a 197 acre lake that overflows into Lake Kilby. The lake is separated into two sections, split by Route 645 (Manning Road) off Route 58 in Suffolk. The upper section is closed to public fishing due to the lack of any public access. The lake contains abundant large-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and redear sunfish, with perhaps the latter species being most noteworthy. Bass in the 12-15 inch range are very abundant.
Since the lake gets very little fishing pressure, angling success rates are generally high. Permits are required, as for the other Portsmouth lakes. Bank fishing is prohibited and gas motors (up to 10 horsepower) are allowed. On the lower lake, there is a paved ramp with limited parking located at the dam on Route 688, south of the intersection of Business Route 58 and Route 58 bypass.