A grist mill was first built on Sucker Brook, which is the outlet of Beaver Pond in the early 1800s. “Mill Privilege” or water rights to the stream and pond were sold or handed down at least six more times after the initial mill was constructed. Today, the stream has returned to a more natural state and salmon sometimes swim up it in the winter months from neighboring Moose Pond. Evidence of prior forestry can also be seen in some of the old logs that stick up to the surface.
Beaver pond thermally stratifies during the summer, and the amount of cold, oxygenated water available for salmonid management is very limited. In addition, the presence of competing and predatory warmwater fish further reduces the potential for a coldwater fishery. Beaver Pond’s habitat is ideal for warmwater species, and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and white perch all produce excellent angling opportunities.
Bridgton’s Beaver Pond is sampled by LEA once per year in August. The long-term average and trend analysis reflect data from 1996 to 2021. The Secchi disk reading for 2021 was 5.6 meters, which falls into the moderately clear range. The total phosphorus reading of 5.0 ppb falls into the low range. The average deep water phosphorus value was significantly higher than surface water phosphorus values, which suggests phosphorus recycling may be an issue. The chlorophyll-a average of 2.0 ppb falls into the low range. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll–a concentrations in Beaver Pond are stable, total phosphorus concentrations are decreasing, and clarity readings are increasing. The average color reading for 2021 was 35.0 SPU, indicating that water in Bridgton’s Beaver Pond is highly colored.
Beaver Pond’s surface water chlorophyll (ppb), phosphorus (ppb), and Secchi depth (meters) data comparison. Colored areas represent the long-term range of values, from minimum to maximum. Area thickness indicates frequency of measurements at that value. Area thickness increases as more measurements are reported at that value. The vertical black line represents the long-term average value. The large red dot represents 2021’s average value.
Less than 1 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.
88 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.
7 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.