Previous Lakes-of-the-Month

June 2020: Cross Lake (Aroostook County)



Credit: Friends of Cross Lake

About Cross Lake:

  • One of Maine’s most northerly lakes, 2,537-acre Cross Lake lies approximately 15 miles south of the Canadian border. It is the third lake in the east branch of the Fish River Chain of Lakes. It is typically iced-in from the first week in December to the first week in May.
  • Cross Lake and its watershed provide excellent year-round recreational opportunities. Besides the approximately 260 shorefront properties, a large public boat landing and picnic area allow visitors to enjoy the lake and it also provides access to Square Lake, with its excellent coldwater fishery, both for open water fishing and ice fishing.
  • Cross Lake also supports a sport fishery of statewide significance for native brook trout and landlocked salmon and has been identified as a Wild Brook Trout Water, meaning it has self-sustaining populations of native brook trout.
  • In 2018, the Friends of Cross Lake (FOCL) was started by locals to spearhead efforts to improve and protect Cross Lake’s water quality, which is classified as impaired due to excess phosphorus and low water clarity readings. FOCL has over 130 supporting members.
  • In 2019, FOCL completed a watershed survey with 35 volunteers, the help of many partners, and a grant from LSM. In order to improve understanding of the dynamics of Cross Lake’s water quality and to gather high-density data, 13 “Secchi Blitz” volunteers were also trained and certified by LSM and DEP to conduct biweekly monitoring of 12 stations around the lake. Two of those stations were also sampled biweekly for phosphorus and chlorophyll. Other 2019 activities that FOCL either led or assisted with included: a bathymetric survey by EPA, stream and wetland sampling by DEP, a gravel road workshop with the State Soil Scientist, and a LakeSmart program for shorefront property owners.
  • In 2019, FOCL also received a DEP/EPA grant to develop a Watershed-Based Management Plan (WBMP) and the Cross Lake Watershed was chosen as an USDA NRCS National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) project, providing additional funding and technical assistance to farmers in the watershed for conservation practices that protect water quality.
  • FOCL is continuing its water quality improvement efforts with another year of gathering “Secchi Blitz” data, expanding LakeSmart, participating in Maine Audubon’s Loon Count for the first time, and WBMP development, which will describe the actions needed to restore Cross Lake to meet water quality standards over the next 10 years
  • Discover more about Cross Lake HERE

May 2020: Enchanted Pond (Somerset County)



Credit: D. Savage

About Enchanted Pond:

  • Located in the mountains of western Maine, 334-acre Enchanted Pond is one of our state’s most pristine lakes.
  • With a maximum depth of 185 feet, it is also the 6th deepest lake in Maine - notably deep when Enchanted’s relatively small surface area is considered.
  • A factsheet How Deep are Maine Lakes? is HERE.
  • Enchanted Pond is one of only 14 lakes in Maine to have a population of Arctic Charr (in this case, introduced from Floods Pond in Otis).
  • The lake also has a “heritage” population of Brook Trout (there has been no stocking of this species since the early 1990s).
  • Bulldog Camps is one of the oldest traditional sporting camps in Maine and is located on the northern end of the lake. Established in the 1880s as a set of logging camps, this property has been operating as a sporting camp since the turn of the last century.
  • Discover more about Enchanted Pond HERE

April 2020: Clary Lake (Lincoln County)



Credit: D. Hodsdon

About Clary Lake:

  • Located in the towns of Jefferson & Whitefield, 674-acre Clary Lake (also known as Pleasant Lake) is part of the Sheepscot River watershed. The lake is quite shallow, with a maximum depth of 30 feet (9.1 meters).
  • Ice-out this year was on March 27, according to David Hodsdon of the Clary Lake Association.
  • The water level of Clary Lake is maintained by a dam at its outlet on Route 218 in Whitefield. In 2014 a water-level order was issued by Maine DEP but the then-dam owner refused to comply with or maintain the dam and caused the lake level to be drawn down to a level lower than most people can remember, according to George Fergusson of CLA.
  • After a 7-year negotiation, the Clary Lake Association was finally able to purchase the dam in October 2018. The Association promptly repaired the dam and has restored Clary Lake to its historical water level. A full recovery is expected.
  • The Clary Lake Association has been engaged in water quality monitoring on Clary Lake since 1975. Today, 4 LSM certified water quality monitors measure transparency and dissolved oxygen twice a month throughout the boating season. The Association also runs a Courtesy Boat Inspection program at the State boat launch throughout the summer months.
  • Discover more about Clary Lake HERE

February-March 2020: Ellis Pond (Oxford County)



Credit: Ross Swain

About Ellis Pond:

  • Located in the towns of Byron and Roxbury, 919-acre Ellis Pond (also known as Roxbury Pond & Silver Lake) has a maximum depth of 43 feet
  • Water clarity has been measured here every year since 1990 (with additional data from 1982).
  • Lake stewardship is alive and well in the Ellis Pond community! The Silver Lake Camp Owners Association conducted two extensive citizen lake watershed surveys during the past two decades, each followed by mitigation projects, in which sources of runoff and erosion documented in the surveys were resolved. The Ellis Pond Sidekicks are also very active in lake stewardship. LSM Certified Lake Monitor, Ross Swain has been checking the health of the pond for 25 years. Recently, he documented the development of a brief, late season (October) algal bloom, which sometimes occurs when a lake “turns over” (de-stratifies or mixes). Such events may be an early warning sign that lake water quality is vulnerable to a change.
  • Discover more about Ellis Pond HERE

January 2020: Branch Lake (Hancock County)



Credit: N. Norris

About Branch Lake:

  • 2942-acre Branch Lake lies in the Union River watershed in Hancock County.
  • This 124-ft-deep (38-m) lake is the public water source for the city of Ellsworth.
  • Water clarity has been measured here since the early 1970s.
  • Branch Lake is one of over 330 Maine lakes with records of ice-in / ice-out dates.
  • Currently, LSM intern, Sarah Hammond is conducting a project in which she is surveying Maine’s citizen lake scientists to learn more about changes in ice-in dates. To learn more about this project (and participate, if you wish), go HERE.

  • Discover more about Branch Lake HERE

December 2019: Long Pond (Kennebec County)



Credit: P. Kallin

About Long Pond:

  • There are 27 “Long Ponds” in Maine (and 6 “Long Lakes”). One of these is located in the Belgrade chain of lakes (it is fourth in the chain sequence)
  • Long Pond (Belgrade, Mt. Vernon, Rome) is a 2,557-acre lake, divided into 2 distinct basins. The “deep hole” (106 ft / 32 m) is in the southern basin
  • This lake has 20 fish species, including the invasive northern pike (Esox lucius), as well as both black basses
  • The Kennebec Highlands (ME Bureau of Parks & Lands) lie to the west of the upper basin, while the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance manages lands along the southern basin (MAP)
  • Water clarity has been measured in this lake since 1970; the overall average Secchi depth during this period is 6.3 m (21 ft) - a value which is in the mid-range of surveyed Maine lakes
  • Discover more about Long Pond HERE

November 2019: West Pond (York County)



Credit: J. Howes

About West Pond:

  • 167-acre West Pond is located in Parsonsfield. It is relatively shallow, with an average depth of 10 feet.
  • Invasive curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) was confirmed to be growing in this lake in the spring of 2004. The key to getting ahead of this invader is to harvest it early in the season, before new winter buds, or turions, develop. (Once formed, each turion—which may remain dormant in the sediment for several years—is capable of sprouting a new plant.) With fifteen years of experience under their belts, much hard work and determination, and some help from the DEP and others, West Pond Association has succeeded in significantly decreasing the infestation, and remains fully committed to the effort. According to WPA President (and major force behind the control effort), Dennis Spinney, “we lost a bit of ground in 2019—likely due to an emergence of dormant turions—but we just doubled down on our control efforts and we are hopeful that this will pay off.”
  • This is a warm-water fishery—including both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and black crappie.
  • Discover more about West Pond here.

October 2019: Jordan Pond (Hancock County)

About Jordan Pond:

  • 186-acre Jordan Pond is a lake of superlatives. Located in the heart of Acadia National Park, it surely is one of the most-visited lakes in Maine. Visually, it is also one of the most stunning of lakes
  • On only 3 dates have measured water transparency (Secchi) values in any Maine lake exceeded 65 feet (20 meters) - all 3 dates are from Jordan P. (1991 and twice in 1999)
  • The steep sides of this lake plunge down to a maximum depth of 150 feet
  • The cold-water fishery focuses on Brook trout, Lake trout and Landlocked salmon - there are 10 other fish species and over 14 species of aquatic plants
  • Discover more about Jordan Pond HERE


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MIDAS
Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program