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.
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.
The average Secchi disk reading for 2019 was 5.09 meters, fell into the moderate range, and was slightly shallower than the long-term average of 5.15 meters. The average total phosphorus reading of 9.00 ppb fell into the moderate range and was higher than the long-term average of 8.35 ppb. Deep water phosphorus values did reach into the high range. The chlorophyll-a average of 2.88 ppb fell into the moderate range and was less than the long-term average of 3.16 ppb. Long-term trend analysis indicates chlorophyll–a concentrations in Stearns Pond are decreasing, total phosphorus concentrations are stable, and clarity readings are increasing. The average color reading for 2019 was 33.50 SPU, indicating that water in Stearns Pond is highly colored. Suitable fish habitat was present from June through July, became marginal in August, and became unsuitable in September.
Stearns 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 Stearns Pond. The line represents the long-term average value and the large dot represents 2019’s average value. The small red dots represent individual readings taken in 2019.
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.