Although it lies in an increasingly populous area, Cold Rain Pond is remarkably undeveloped, with a setting more characteristic of a remote, northern trout pond. Only one camp fronts on this “great pond” and a conservation easement held by Loon Echo Land Trust protects most of that private property from further development. No additional building will occur along the shores of Cold Rain Pond, thanks to the generosity of the former landowners who offered to sell their land to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) at a price well below market value. With funding from the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program, IFW acquired 186 acres surrounding Cold Rain Pond, including all the remaining shorefront. Anglers have traditionally enjoyed access to this site, but just prior to the state’s purchase, that access was closed off. Restoration of a traditional carry-in site on the pond’s north shore is planned, ensuring that the public can enjoy boating and fishing in a remarkably unspoiled setting.
Cold Rain Pond supports a thriving cold-water fishery. The pond has no suitable tributaries for brook trout spawning and nursery habitat, and annual stocking in the spring and fall is required to maintain a viable trout fishery. Other fish present are rainbow smell, yellow perch, chain pickerel, white sucker, hornpout (bullhead) and pumpkinseed sunfish.
Cold Rain Pond is sampled by LEA once per year in August. The long-term average reflects data from 1996 to 2021. The Secchi disk reading for 2021 was 5.0 meters, which falls into the moderately clear range. The total phosphorus reading of 8.0 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 average chlorophyll-a concentration was 4.0 ppb, which falls into the moderate range. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll–a concentrations in Cold Rain Pond are increasing, total phosphorus concentrations are stable, and clarity readings are stable. The color reading for 2021 was 34 SPU, indicating that water in Cold Rain Pond is highly colored.
Cold Rain 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.
65 percent of soils in the watershed are type A soils. Type 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.
27 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 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 7 percent of the watershed is taken up by the pond.