Document Type


Study Date



There has always been an inexplicable wonder associated with the beauty of Maine lakes. In addition to their aesthetic value, lakes and ponds provide important habitats for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. The attraction of the lake's natural beauty, however, can increase recreational pressures that may lead to human induced eutrophication. Lake George and Oaks Pond were chosen as the Colby Environmental Assessment Team's (CEAT) study sites due to the concern about potential human induced eutrophication of both water bodies. Lake George and Oaks Pond are situated in southern Somerset County, Maine, and experience heavy recreational and developmental uses. Neither water body has experienced algal blooms, but both are vulnerable because of potential nutrient loading from human activities.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impacts of land use patterns and development on the water quality of Lake George and Oaks Pond. The physical and chemical parameters of both lakes were measured in order to determine the present water quality. Development within the watersheds was documented through the assessment of residences, septic systems, and roads. Water quality and land use assessments were conducted by CEAT during the summer and fall of 2001. These results were then used to construct a phosphorus model to predict present and future phosphorus loading. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to construct models of land use and soil characteristics in the Lake George and Oaks Pond watersheds. The results obtained from the lake and watershed analyses were used to make recommendation concerning the future ecological health of Lake George and Oaks Pond.


Publication Date: Spring 2002

Date of Study: Summer and Fall 2001

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