Hancock Pond’s unique shape and wide range of depths provide a variety of different habitats for fish and waterfowl. These qualities and good access make the pond popular with boaters, anglers and wildlife observers. Careful monitoring and continued boat inspections are needed to ensure that Hancock Pond remains free of invasive aquatic plants such as milfoil.
Hancock Pond is a good fishing spot year-round due to the variety and size of fish found within its waters. Brown trout is the most common coldwater fish in the pond. Brown trout fishing is good during early spring and throughout the ice fishing season fair catches are reported. Although brown trout are more tolerant of low oxygen conditions than most of their relatives, they must be stocked annually to maintain the population. Smelts provide good action during the winter season and some ardent smelt fishermen have good luck fishing for them during the summer. Both species of bass are numerous in the lake and it is not rare to catch fish weighing up to 3 and 4 pounds. Lake trout were stocked in the pond during the 1980s and brook trout have been caught in its waters as well. Other fish found in the pond include: rainbow smelt, chain pickerel, golden shiners, common shiners, fallfish, white suckers, hornpout, banded killifish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redbreast sunfish, slimy sculpin, American eel, and landlocked alewife.
The average Secchi disk reading for 2020 was 6.90 meters, fell into the moderately clear range, and was shallower than the long-term average of 7.15 meters. The average total phosphorus reading of 4.75 ppb fell into the low range and was less than the long-term average of 5.79 ppb. The average deep water phosphorus value was not significantly above surface water phosphorus values, which suggests phosphors recycling is not problematic. The chlorophyll-a average of 2.63 ppb fell into the moderate range and was lower than the long-term average of 2.86 ppb. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll–a concentrations in Hancock Pond are decreasing, total phosphorus concentrations are stable, and clarity readings are increasing. The average color reading for 2020 was 11.13 SPU, indicating that water in Hancock Pond is moderately colored. Suitable coldwater fish habitat was present from June through July. Coldwater fish habitat became marginal in August and unsuitable in September.
Hancock Pond’s 2020 Quick Stats
Hancock Pond surface water chlorophyll, phosphorus, and Secchi depth data summary Colored boxes represent the long-term range of values, from minimum to maximum, obtained on Hancock Pond. The line represents the long-term average value and the dot represents 2020’s average value. The small red dots represent individual readings taken in 2020.
After a successful survey of the watershed to identify erosion sites and raise public awareness about water quality problems, LEA partnered with the Hancock and Sand Pond Association and Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District to correct some of the highest priority sites that were found. Through this grant, large conservation practices were installed on the West Shore Road, Wabanaki Road and Sand Pond Way. A significant portion of the grant was also used to address problems associated with residential properties.
28 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.
12 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.
22 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.
5 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 25 percent of the watershed is taken up by the pond.