About the River
The main stem of the Lamprey River begins in Northwood and flows almost 50 miles to Newmarket and Great Bay. On its way, the river drops 600 feet in elevation. The drainage area covers almost 214 square miles and includes fourteen towns, making it one of the largest watersheds in New Hampshire. The NH Department of Environmental Services classifies the Lamprey as Class B- meaning the river is clean and healthy enough for humans to swim and fish here. The river serves as a source of drinking water for the Durham-UNH Water System and four municipal groundwater wells are located in the drainage area.
The Lamprey River is recognized on both the state and federal levels as a river with outstanding resources, and for that reason, it is afforded protections not normally provided to other rivers. On the federal level, certain sections of the Lamprey are designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the National Park Service and the US Congress. At the state level, the Lamprey and its main tributaries are in the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program. The Lamprey River Advisory Committee is the recognized local advisory body for both programs.