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Stearns Pond

Stearns Pond is located east of Route 93 in Sweden. In the town’s early history, Stearns Pond and its dam were used to hold water for the purpose of sending logs through the Stearns Canal into Highland Lake and on to the mills in Bridgton. In later years, the logs were sawn at the Trull Mill at the head of Highland Lake.

Fishing

Brown trout are stocked by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife each fall. Trout use the inlet streams for spawning and feed on the abundant rainbow smelt population. Smallmouth and largemouth bass feed extensively on juvenile perch as well as the smelts, and exhibit excellent growth. White perch and chain pickerel provide lots of action during both the summer and winter fishing seasons.The pond also contains yellow perch, minnows, golden shiners, hornpout, pumpkinseed sunfish and eels.

  • Lake Surface

    248 acres
  • Watershed

    4,116 acres
  • Max. Depth

    48 feet
  • Elevation

    444 feet

Water Quality: 2022

The average Secchi disk reading for 2022 was 5.3 meters, which falls into the moderate range. The average total phosphorus reading of 7.8 ppb falls into the moderate range. The average deep water phosphorus value was less than 10 ppb above average surface water phosphorus values, which suggests phosphorus recycling is not problematic. The chlorophyll-a average of 3.5 ppb falls into the moderate range. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll-a concentrations in Stearns Pond are stable, total phosphorus concentrations are stable, and clarity readings are stable. The average color reading for 2022 was 33.4 SPU, indicating that water in Stearns Pond is highly colored. Gloeotrichia echenulata density ranged from 0 through 1, with the highest density occurring in mid-July.

2022 Water-testing summary

Stearns 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 2022’s average value. The small red dots represent individual readings taken in 2022.

 

2022 average vs. long-term average

  • Clarity: Stearns Pond's 2022 average water clarity was within the 'moderate' range. Stearns Pond's long-term clarity trend is stable indicating that clarity readings are neither shallower nor deeper over time.
  • Chlorophyll: Stearns Pond's 2022 average chlorophyll concentration was within the 'moderate' range. Stearns Pond's long-term clarity trend is stable indicating that chlorophyll concentrations are neither higher nor lower over time.
  • Phosphorous: Stearns Pond's 2022 average phosphorus concentration was within the 'moderate' range. Deep water phosphorus value was not significantly above surface water phosphorus values, indicating that phosphorus recycling was not an issue for Stearns Pond in 2022. Stearns Pond's long-term phosphorus trend is stable, indicating that total phosphorus concentrations are not getting higher or lower over time.

    Watershed Soils

    13 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.

    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.

    55 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.

    6 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.

    13 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 6 percent of the watershed is taken up by the pond.

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