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Bear Pond

Bear Pond is Waterford’s deepest lake. It provides excellent habitat for coldwater and warmwater fish and is a popular fishing spot year round. It is said to be named after a bear that was killed in its waters during the early settlement of Waterford.


Bear Pond is regularly stocked by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with landlocked salmon and brook trout. These two fish also have been known to spawn in Mutiny Brook. The pond also has populations of lake trout, splake, rainbow smelt, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, hornpout, pumpkinseed sunfish, slimy sculpin, American eel, white sucker and golden shiner and fallfish minnows.

  • Lake Surface

    250 acres
  • Watershed

    5,331 acres
  • Max. Depth

    72 feet
  • Elevation

    375 feet

Water Quality: 2022

The average Secchi disk reading for 2022 was 6.0 meters which falls into the moderately clear range. The average total phosphorus reading of 8.3 ppb falls into the moderate range. The average deep water phosphorus value was not significantly above surface water phosphorus values, which suggests phosphorus recycling is not problematic. The chlorophyll-a average of 2.6 ppb falls into the moderate range. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll–a concentrations in Bear Pond are stable, total phosphorus concentrations are decreasing, and clarity readings are stable. The average color reading for 2022 was 26.6 SPU, indicating that water in Bear Pond is highly colored. Gloeotrichia echenulata colonies were seen at a density level of 1 in July and at a density level of 2 in August.

2022 Water-testing summary

Bear Pond surface water chlorophyll, phosphorus, and Secchi depth data summary

Graphs have been included to visually compare 2022 data to historic data (1996—2021). The vertical axis (y-axis) indicates the relative abundance of readings at that level while the horizontal axis (x-axis) represents reported values. Three different parameters are being reported on the same graph, which results in the value units for the horizontal axis varying, based on result. Units are noted in parentheses under the vertical axis label. Area thickness increases as more measurements are reported at that value. Thus, thicker areas indicate that several measurements have been reported at that value, while thinner areas indicate that fewer measurements have been reported at that value.



2022 average vs. long-term average

  • Clarity: Bear Pond's average Secchi disk reading for 2022 was within the moderately clear range. Bear Pond's long term clarity trend is stable indicating that clarity readings are not getting deeper nor shallower over time.
  • Chlorophyll: Bear Pond's average chlorophyll concentration was within the moderate range. Bear Pond's long term chlorophyll trend is stable indicating that there is neither more nor less chlorophyll in Bear Pond over time.
  • Phosphorous: Bear Pond's average phosphorus concentration was within the moderate range. Average deep water concentration was within 10 ppm of average core concentrations indicating that phosphorus recycling was not a problem for Bear Pond in 2021. Bear Pond's long term phosphorus trend is decreasing, indicating that there is less phosphorus in the water over time.

    Bear Pond Watershed Survey

    In the spring of 2013, 22 volunteers and staff from five organizations walked and drove the Bear Pond Watershed looking for erosion sites that were impacting water quality. Undersized culverts, steep roadside banks, washed-out road shoulders and poorly constructed driveways were some of the culprits the team identified. While erosion anywhere within the watershed (the land that drains to Bear Pond) can impact individual wetlands and landowners, the crew was specifically looking for places where soil was washing into the pond or into streams that can carry sediment quickly to the pond.  Typically, the areas where we see the most problems are roads, driveways and intensely used residential property along the water.  To see all the findings, download the Bear Pond Survey.

    Watershed Soils

    7 percent of soils in the watershed are type A soils. A soils tend to be well drained sands, loams and gravels.  When vegetation is removed and the soil is exposed they can be susceptible to erosion. Because they are often coarse with ample pore space, there is low runoff potential and water will not usually pool on them.  These soils can be good places to site leach fields or infiltrate stormwater from a home or residence.

    8 percent of soils in the watershed are type B soils. B soils have moderate infiltration rates and fine to moderate texture and soil size. They are usually made up silts and loams. Although not as well drained as A soils, they can also be good places to site leach fields and infiltrate stormwater.

    72 percent of soils in the watershed are type C soils. C soils have low infiltration rates and typically have a layer that impedes the movement of water. These soils are made of sands, clays and loams and are one of the most common soil types in western Maine.

    1 percent of soils in the watershed are type D soils. D soils have a high runoff potential and very low infiltration rates.  Soils with a high water table, clay or other impervious layer near the surface are typically D soils.  These soils are often associated with wetlands.

    8 percent of soils in the watershed are type C/D soils. C/D soils are a mix of these two soil types.  They have fairly high runoff potential and low infiltration rates and often pool water.

    The remaining 4 percent of the watershed is taken up by the pond.

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