38 Lake Farm Circle, Jefferson ME 04348 | (207)549-3836 | firstname.lastname@example.org
About Damariscotta Lake
Damariscotta Lake is the largest of the lakes and ponds in Midcoast Maine. Made up of three hydrologically distinct basins, it supports both warm- and cold-water fisheries, provides spawning grounds for a robust alewife run and hosts the second largest breeding loon population in southern Maine. The water quality of the lake since 1989 has been stable, though slightly below average for Maine lakes.
In 1997 the Maine DEP listed Damariscotta Lake as one of Maine lakes “most at risk from development.” Small towns populated by a mix of seasonal and year-round residents surround Damariscotta Lake.
Bedrock geology and glacial processes determined the original shape of the lake. Then, when a dam was built, the lake enlarged. The following table summarizes the hydrological description of the lake:
Total Acres: Basin: 4,625. Watershed: 29,667.
Watershed drainage area: 56.8 square miles
The watershed is comprised of parts of Jefferson, Nobleboro, Newcastle, Somerville, Washington, and a small part of Waldoboro. The acreage is divided as follows:
Jefferson: 8,585 acres
Nobleboro: 5,724 acres
Newcastle: 1,267 acres
Somerville: 4,628 acres
Washington: 9,463 acres
Waldoboro: 68 acres
Lake aging is a natural process by which a lake fills in over time. The aging of Damariscotta Lake can be measured by observing rate of sedimentation and eutrophication (nutrient increase and oxygen decrease). Sedimentation and eutrophication have been accelerated by human use of the watershed. This has caused a loss of dissolved oxygen, changes in fish species, a decline in clarity, and an increase in algae.
To learn more about how a lake ages, click here.
After centuries of Native American occupancy, European settlement began in the early part of the 17th century. Population peaked in the 1800s, and then dwindled as westward expansion of the country lured many away. Not until the late 20th century did the population exceed the numbers of the mid-19th century.
To learn more about the population of the Damariscotta Lake Watershed, click here.
People have long strived to use the rich resources of the Watershed to the best advantage. The forests and Lake have provided many options for commerce. The Watershed has an interesting history of uses from the building of dams and extensive logging, the use of steam-powered boats on the Lake to present day recreational opportunities.
To learn more about commerce in the Damariscotta Lake Watershed, click here.
Over the years, the ideas about the best way to use the land of the Watershed have been changing. The initial draw of the Watershed area was understandably the possibilities created by the richness of the land's resources. Through the years, people's ideas of land use, and their efforts to steward the land, have evolved as they have made use of their experiences and knowledge on land and water.
To find out more on the land use of the Watershed, click here.
The wildlife enthusiast will find diverse and interesting wildlife due to the wide diversity of habitats located in the watershed. Waterfowl frequenting both salt and fresh waters are found along with, abundant fish, including the fascinating migration in May, of alewives up the fish ladder at Damariscotta Mills. The common loon, osprey and bald eagle all nest along Damariscotta Lake. Fox, deer, coyotes, bear, moose, snowshoe hare, wild turkey and numerous other species of interest are frequently seen by the careful observer.
For more detailed information about wildlife in the watershed, click here.