One of Maine's finest bodies of water is Maranacook Lake, located in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Central Maine. Maranacook Lake has a surface area of about 1,673 acres and is 118 feet at its deepest point.
Maranacook Lake actually is broken into two distinct basins-north and south. The north basin is located almost entirely in the town of Readfield. Its surface area is 595 acres. The highly irregular shoreline and relatively shallow water (no-the max depth isn't 118 feet in the north basin) favors warm water fish species. A state maintained boat launch is on Route 41 in Readfield.
On the north basin, you'll find Readfield Beach on Main Street (Route 17). This 8.7-acre recreation area is available to residents for an annual fee. There's a bouyed swim area, picnic facility and volleyball court. During the winter months the ice is cleared for skating. Not far away is the 36-acre Readfield Fairgrounds, home of the Readfield Heritage Day events, plus trails for walking, nature-study and cross-country skiing.
The larger and deeper south basin has a surface area of just over 1,000 acres, and is home to cold water fish species. The south basin's water quality is slightly above average as monitored by volunteers for the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.
The Maranacook Lake Association (MLA) has the mission "to protect and improve the water quality of Maranacook Lake and its watershed for the benefit of all." One of the association's concerns is invasive plant species. To this end, a Youth Plant Patrol (YPP) was formed several years ago. Cameron Dufour, an intern from the University of Maine, Fort Kent, who worked with the YPP on Maranacook Lake said, "In conducting the plant surveys, the lakes get a yearly check to make sure that they are still invasive-free. If they do fall victim to an invasive plant, early detection can be vital in limiting the spread. The Youth Plant Patrol provides a critical check and information about the lakes, and allows trained eyes to watch over our lakes."
The water flows from the south basin of Maranacook Lake to Lake Annabessacook in Winthrop and Monmouth. Lake Annabessacook has a surface area of 1,391 acres with a maximum depth of 47 feet and an average depth of 17 feet.
Anglers value Lake Annabessacook as one of the most popular large mouth bass fishing spots in Central Maine. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife manages the lake for this warm water species. Several bass tournaments are held throughout the season. It's not unusual to catch a true trophy in this lake.
The Annabessacook Lake Improvement Association is working with the Cobbossee Water District and other agencies throughout the state to improve the water quality of the lake. The CWD has done extensive watershed work to reduce runoff phosphorus and to help guide watershed development to reduce future phosphorus loading. The overall water quality appears to be gradually improving.Monmouth and Winthrop are situated on the lakes. Here you'll find dining choices, the Theater at Monmout, golf courses, shopping and more. Augusta and Lewiston are only about twenty minutes away, while it's a forty minute drive to LL Bean and other shops in Freeport and fifty minutes to all that Portland has to offer.
As you sit at your computer and dream of sunning on a dock, watching falling stars at night, curling up in a hammock by the water's edge to read a book, telling stories around a campfire, and enjoying a lake up close and personal, remember that spectacular scenery surrounds Maranacook Lake and Lake Annabessacook. Own a piece of lakefront property on either of these two lakes and you can swim, boat, fish, and enjoy the aesthetic beauty any time you wish.