Belgrade Lakes

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East Pond
Location Maine
Coordinates 44°38′N 69°47′W / 44.633°N 69.783°W / 44.633; -69.783[1]
Max. length 2.9 mi (4.7 km)[2]
Surface area 1,717 acres (695 ha)[3]
Max. depth 27 feet (8.2 m)[4]
Water volume 27,307 acre⋅ft (33,683,000 m3)[3]
Surface elevation 263 ft (80 m)[2]
North Pond
Location Maine
Coordinates 44°38′N 69°51′W / 44.633°N 69.850°W / 44.633; -69.850[5]
Max. length 3 mi (4.8 km)[2]
Surface area 2,531 acres (1,024 ha)[3]
Max. depth 20 feet (6.1 m)[6]
Water volume 1,662 acre⋅ft (2,050,000 m3)[3]
Surface elevation 253 ft (77 m)[5]
Long Pond
Location Kennebec County
Coordinates 44°32′N 69°54′W / 44.533°N 69.900°W / 44.533; -69.900
Max. length 7.2 mi (11.6 km)[2]
Surface area 2,557 acres (1,035 ha)[3]
Max. depth 106 ft (32 m)[7]
Water volume 73,165 acre⋅ft (90,248,000 m3)[3]
Surface elevation 237 ft (72 m)[2]

The Belgrade Lakes are a chain of lakes around Belgrade, Maine. The flow sequence is from East Pond to North Pond to Great Pond to Long Pond to Messalonskee Lake and thence via Messalonskee Stream to the Kennebec River at Waterville.[2] The lakes have long been an important resort area for fishing, boating, and swimming; and shoreline development includes residences for individuals employed in the cities of Waterville and Augusta.

East Pond

East Pond is the headwater pond of the Belgrade chain of lakes. The south end of the pond is in Oakland, and the north end of the pond in Smithfield overflows westward approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) through the village of Smithfield into the east side of North Pond.[2] Algal blooms have been observed since the 1990s for about a week in June and again through the last month of summer.[8]

North Pond

Weedy North Pond covers the boundary of Smithfield to the east, Mercer to the northwest, and Rome to the southwest. It is the shallowest lake of the chain. North Pond tributaries include Sucker Brook and Clark Brook joining the overflow from East Pond, and Leech Brook, Bog Brook and Pattee Brook flowing into the north end of the pond. There is a public boat launch area near the outlet of Bog Brook. The south end of North Pond overflows through Great Meadow Stream, which forms the eastern border of Rome and western border of Oakland and Belgrade for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) before reaching the northwestern bay of Great Pond.[2]

Great Pond

At 8,239 acres (3,334 ha), Great Pond is the largest of the Belgrade Lakes and forms the boundary between Rome to the north and Belgrade to the south. Tributaries Rome Trout Brook and Robbins Mill Stream enter the north end of Great Pond. Great Pond overflows westward approximately 1 kilometre (1,100 yd) to the east side of Long Pond north of the narrows.[2] Although Great Pond is more than twice as deep as the previous lakes in the chain, it similarly becomes uniformly warm through the summer and unsuitable for native trout or salmon.[9]

Long Pond

The northern basin of Long Pond in Rome is of similar depth as Great Pond, but the basin forming the western boundary of Belgrade and eastern boundary of Mount Vernon south of the narrows is fifty percent deeper with cooler deep waters. There is a public boat launch area at the south end of the narrows.[7] Tributaries Whittier Brook and Beaver Brook drain Whittier Pond, Beaver Pond, Watson Pond, Round Pond, Kidder Pond, and McIntire Pond into the northern basin of Long Pond. Stony Brook and Ingham Stream drain Moose Pond and Ingham Pond into the southern basin. The south end of Long Pond overflows through Belgrade Stream which reaches the south end of Messalonskee Lake after flowing 9 miles (14 km) eastward.[2]

Messalonskee Lake

Messalonskee Lake is the deepest at 113 feet (34 m), and second largest of the Belgrade Lakes with similar cold water habitat to the south basin of Long Pond.[10] The north end of Messalonskee Lake overflows through Messalonskee Stream 10 miles (16 km) to the Kennebec River.[2]

Smaller ponds

The 486-acre (197 ha) McGrath Pond and 562-acre (227 ha) Salmon Pond overflow into the east side of Great Pond. They have extensive shoreline development and are sometimes called the sixth and seventh Belgrade Lakes.[11]

Fishing

The lakes provide suitable habitat for chain pickerel, white perch, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Early angling focused on brook trout from the tributary brooks and Atlantic salmon in the deeper lakes; but tributaries lack sufficient spawning and nursery habitat to replace angling success. Attempts to sustain the salmon population by stocking hatchery fish caused dramatic decline in the late 1970s of the population of rainbow smelt which had been the primary prey of native salmon.[7] Stocking then introduced brown trout with greater tolerance for warm water lake conditions. Local interests seeking alternative angling opportunities illegally introduced northern pike[9] and black crappie.[4] Eutrofication from residential development of the shoreline has reduced Secchi disk depth to 4 meters, and dead algae has reduced oxygen levels in deep water.[8]

Sources

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: East Pond
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (Thirteenth ed.). Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping Company. 1988. pp. 12–21. ISBN 0-89933-035-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Maine Depts. of Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (2005-08-04). "Maine Lakes: Morphometry and Geographic Information". Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research, The University of Maine. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b "East Pond" (PDF). Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. State of Maine. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  5. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: North Pond
  6. ^ "North Pond" (PDF). Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. State of Maine. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c "Long Pond" (PDF). Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. State of Maine. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b McGuire, Peter. "Analysis: Belgrade Lakes' water quality down". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Great Pond" (PDF). Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. State of Maine. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Messalonskee Lake" (PDF). Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. State of Maine. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Belgrade Lakes". Maine. Maine Office of Tourism. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
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