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McWain Pond

McWain Pond, originally known as Long Pond, was renamed after Waterford’s first settler, David McWain, who came to the area in 1775. David was said to have helped later settlers during hard winters by selling off his surplus corn at a low price. He was also rumored to have hid silver in pine trees to protect it from being stolen.


McWain Pond is principally managed for smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and rainbow smelt. Yellow perch, golden shiners, and rainbow smelt all provide forage for the bass. Crayfish were introduced in 1959 by Inland Fish and Wildlife as an additional food source for the bass. Smelts are commercially taken from the pond by local bait dealers and recreational dipping is allowed in the pond and its tributaries. McWain also supports populations of fallfish, white sucker, hornpout, pumpkinseed sunfish and American eel.

  • Lake Surface

    445 acres
  • Watershed

    2,505 acres
  • Max. Depth

    42 feet
  • Elevation

    533 feet

Water Quality: 2021

The average Secchi disk reading for 2021 was 6.0 meters, which falls into the moderately clear range. The
average total phosphorus reading of 6.9 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 average of 2.9 ppb falls into the moderate range. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll concentrations in McWain Pond are decreasing, total phosphorus concentrations are decreasing, and clarity readings are stable. The average color reading for 2021 was 30.5 SPU, indicating that water in McWain Pond is highly colored. Suitable coldwater fish habitat was present through June. As water temperatures increased and deep water oxygen was consumed, coldwater fish habitat transitioned to marginal in July and became unsuitable in August through September.

2021 Water-testing summary


McWain Pond’s 2021 Quick Stats

McWain 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. The small red dots represent individual readings taken in 2021.


2021 average vs. long-term average

  • Clarity: McWain Pond's 2021 average water clarity was within the 'moderately clear' range. McWain Pond's long-term clarity trend is stable, indicating neither deeper nor shallower Secchi readings over time.
  • Chlorophyll: McWain Pond's 2021 average chlorophyll concentration was within the 'moderate' range. McWain Pond's long-term chlorophyll trend is decreasing, indicating that there is less chlorophyll in the water over time.
  • Phosphorous: McWain Pond’s 2021 average phosphorus concentration was within the 'moderate' range. Deep water phosphorus values were not significantly above surface water phosphorus values indicating that phosphorus recycling was not an issue for McWain Pond in 2021. McWain Pond's long-term total phosphorus trend is decreasing, indicating less phosphorus in the water over time.

    McWain Pond Project

    After a very successful volunteer-based survey of erosion sources within the Watershed, an implementation plan aimed at correcting the identified problems began. The project worked on numerous residential sites within the watershed and larger-scale conservation practices were also installed on Whiting Avenue, Camp McWain and Mill Hill Road.

    Watershed Soils

    2 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.

    3 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.

    71 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.

    2 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 15 percent of the watershed is taken up by the pond.

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