Document Type


Study Date



The Belgrade Lakes in central Maine are important local ecological and recreational resources. The belgrade chain includes the following lakes: East Pond, North Pond, Great Pond, Long Pond, Salmon Lake and Messalonskee Lake. These lakes are all interconnected within the system driving into the Kennebec River through the Messalonskee Stream (Garrity and Putnam, 1971). East Pond is the first lake in the lake chain and it plays a pivotal role in influencing subsequent lakes. Therefore, the water quality of this lake is important not only to East Pond residents but to the residents of the entire lakes region.

East pond is a shallow and typical unstrained body of water. The annual flushing rate is estimated at 0.24 flushes/year which is considered to be slow (DEP, 1990). The Serpentine Stream is the outlet for East Pond which flows into North Pond. The water quality of the lake has been classified as being stable with a moderate nutrient level (DEP, 1990). However, in 1987, an algal bloom occurred in East Pond possible due to a large increase in phosphorus loading from external sources. One possible explanation was that the Serpentine stream backflushed through the marsh carrying nutrients into East Pond (DEP, 1990). Because of this event and its pivotal role in the lake chain, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the East Pond Lake Association (EPLA) have become concerned with the water management of the pond.

The focus of our study was to asses the water quality of East Pond and to investigate factors affecting that quality. The study was broken down into three main areas: East Pond, tributaries and wetlands, and East Pond and Serpentine watersheds.

Through our investigation, we hope to provide information to better understand the dynamics of the East Pond and Serpentine watersheds, and their influence on East Pond. Recommendations, based on evidence gathered during our study, will be proposed to help mitigate potential problems of eutrophication in East Pond.


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Publication Date: Spring 1992

Date of Study: Fall 1991

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