One of the most frequently asked questions posed of biologists in the Lake Assessment Section of Maine DEP, is what makes an inland body of freshwater a lake or a pond? About half of the 6,000 lakes and ponds that have been assigned a state identification number have been named, many having two or three names. At least thirty have one name with the word lake in it and the other with the word pond. For example, Bryant Pond is also known as Lake Christopher and Dexter Pond sports the name Wassookeag Lake! It is often these dual names that make folks wonder exactly where do we draw the line in Maine?
One classic distinction is that sunlight penetrates to the bottom of all areas of a pond in contrast to lakes, which have deep waters that receive no sunlight at all. Another is that ponds generally have small surface areas and lakes have large surfaces. So a combination of surface area and depth are considered from a technical perspective.
Some of our waters are definitely lakes – they are both large and deep – indisputably lakes. Others are ponds – small and shallow. And there is a transition between the two where the definition becomes fuzzy. If we held to the depth distinction, some ponds would become lakes mid-summer when algal populations limit light penetration to the bottom. The surface area distinction makes no sense for seven-acre waters that are 50 feet deep (like Maine’s kettle ponds), or for 400-acre waters that have emergent vegetation across their entire surface.
So to answer the question above: no definitive line exists between lakes and ponds. The one distinction that has any legal application is the designation of a water as a Great Pond. Maine state statues define lakes and ponds greater than ten acres in size as Great Ponds. If an impounded water is greater than thirty acres in size it is also legally considered a Great Pond; impounded waters less than thirty acres that were greater than ten acres before dammed are also Great Ponds.
Thus there is no exact technical distinction between lakes and ponds. All lakes and ponds provide critical habitat for other living creatures – aquatic macroinvertebrates, plankton, fish, wildlife and vegetation – and all need protection, so that clean fresh water continues to be one of Maine’s premier natural resources.
Information provided by Linda Bacon at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Posted on: March 16, 2021
Local Rabies Case
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently identified a of a case of animal rabies in a fox in Windham. If you have any questions, please contact Maine CDC, Division of Disease Surveillance at 1-800-821-5821. If you see a stray domestic or wild animal acting strangely please reach out to our Animal Control Officer, Jacqueline Frye, at 892-2525.
A blue canoe floating upside down on the north end of the pond pass the island. Currently it is hung up in a fallen tree across from the island.
I would like to publicly thank Rodger Patterson for all the amazing work he has done this year as well as years past seeking out grants to help us in our mission in the control/eradication of invasive species in our Pond.
I wish you all a very safe and Happy Holiday
Cheryl Rawson, CPIA President
Windham Open Space Master Draft Plan is now available to view. Please see the link below.
August 25, 2020
I just got done paddling the lake with Karen Hahnel. Karen is one of our contacts with the Invasive Aquatics Plants Division of the Maine DEP. She tries to stop out once a year to check in on our progress with the Milfoil mitigation. We spent time surveying all around the lake. She pointed out several native plants that grow to the surface such as Bladderwort and Water Marigold. These may be mistaken as an invasive due to their dense growths and sometimes floating plants.
We talked about the excessive amounts of Eel Grass and Water Celery that is a common complaint this year. This is being seen in other lakes as well. Anything can dislodge the grass or it can be a natural occurrence. The DASH boat has only worked when we have surface support to corral the plants that get away from the diver. I am sure we don’t get them all but we aren’t responsible for the large amounts of grass floating up on everyone’s shorelines. Karen mentioned that the ducks like to eat these various grasses and probably contribute some to the floating plants.
Karen also mentioned that the loss of water clarity which I have noticed diving is also being seen elsewhere due to the heat and lack of rain which seem to encourage algae growth. We see algae each summer but it is a little worse this year. I don’t know what the secchi disk readings have been, I only know what I see, or can’t see as well, when diving. Less water flow through the lake contributes to this lack of clarity.
As far as a report from the DEP, this is just a casual paddle each year to see how things are progressing. Karen was happy to see that we continue to work at this project each year. The funding is stable this year. Recent news articles have said that boat sales are up this summer so hopefully that means boat registrations are also up. Those fees are what support this grant program. Karen took a few samples of plants with her. The invasive plant we have was identified years ago as Hybrid Variable Leaf Milfoil. We haven’t noticed a flowering part above the water previously but she took a sample of one with this part of the plant called a Bract. We didn’t notice any other troublesome plants, though. The milfoil we remove is a reddish plant but the other natives are generally green with a different appearance.
Have you seen any of these large snails in Collins Pond? They have been identified as Chinese Mystery Snails, an invasive aquatic species. They are larger than a walnut shell.
If you find any live snails, please mark where you find them and let us know. Two empty shells were discovered while gathering milfoil and have been identified by Lake Stewards of Maine, and reported as a suspected invasive species.
Lake Stewards of Maine would like to know whether we have a live infestation or whether the shells have floated down river from Little Sebago or Millpond. Thank you for keeping an eye out for these unwanted Chinese Mystery Snails. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Cheryl Andre
OK, maybe a little dramatic, but all the reasons stated why we shouldn’t be feeding the waterfowl are all valid!
Enter the Evergreen Credit Union raffle to help raise funds for deserving non-profits, and you might be the lucky winner of a L. L. Bean solo kayak, paddle and equipment.
Once again Collins Pond Improvement Association has been chosen as one of beneficiaries. Your support will not only help CPIA mission to fight to control/eradication of invasive species in our pond & watershed but to support our neighboring lakes, food pantries & the Animal Refuge League and their missions!
- ENTRY PRICES
- 2 Entries $5
- 5 Entries $10
- 20 Entries $20
Collins Pond Improvement Association is grateful to Evergreen Credit Union for their generosity, trust and most importantly their commitment in our mission of protecting Maine’s natural resources.