At the top of the Belgrade Lakes Chain sit East Pond and North Pond. The Belgrade Lakes Region has long been famous as a summer retreat for professionals and celebrities.
The spring-fed East Pond has a surface area of 1,823 acres and a maximum depth of 27 feet with an average depth of 18 feet. East Pond is roughly oval in shape with several coves along its margins for kayakers to explore. It's surrounded by a hardwood forest and has a marshy outlet in the northwest corner.
East Pond flows into North Pond and Little Pond via the marshy outlet in the northwest corner. This outlet helps filter the water that enters North Pond.
North Pond has a surface area of 2,225 acres and a maximum depth of 20 feet. The pond is a half mile wide and three miles in length. There are many coves to explore.
The Belgrade Lakes Area is known for its recreational opportunities. Boating, sailing, waterskiing and hiking are just some of the activities to enjoy here in the summer. The Smithfield Moonshiners and Oakland Snow Goers snowmobile clubs maintain snowmobile trails. An ice fishing derby to benefit Pine Tree Camp is held each winter with a weigh-in at Sweet Dreams Convenience Store on Route 8 in Smithfield.
Smithfield is a small town located between the two ponds. It offers stunning scenery and quiet rural charm.
Own lakefront property on these ponds and you can enjoy lazy days swimming, fishing, boating and snowmobiling. From your spectacular hideaway, you'll be only about 15 minutes from Waterville, where you can shop or golf, and go to movies, restaurants, and shows at the Waterville Opera House.
A state-owned boat launch is located on Bog Stream. Popular fish to catch here are smallmouth and largemouth bass, white perch and chain pickerel. According to James Lucas, assistant regional fishery biologist in central Maine, "Most of the fish species currently in North Pond are not native to the pond . . . Minnow, white suckers, hornpout, American eel and pumpkinseed sunfish probably are native to North Pond." It's rumored that a really big largemouth bass hangs out in the shallow marsh at the southern end of North Pond. If you catch it, be sure to release it so others may enjoy the same adventure.The North Pond Association was formed in 1985 to construct a dam on Great Meadow Stream in order to better manage the level of water in the pond. Today the association supports and conducts "social, educational and stewardship efforts to benefit the natural environment of North Pond and Little Pond." Rick Watson, president of the association wrote in the February 2010 newsletter, "The really, really good news is that with little exception, the water quality has remained unchanged for nearly 40 years on North Pond. There is work to be done, however, and we are at the tipping point where much more of any bad stuff, phosphorus, run-off, fertilizer, etc. could push us to a point we don't want-like an annual algae bloom."
The pond is known for its excellent boating and fishing. Anglers enjoy catching white perch and trout in the pond. Fishing licenses can be obtained at D & L Country Store on Smithfield Road in Oakland. Nicki's Tackle Shop on Route 8 in Belgrade has all your fishing needs. A state-owned boat launch with a hard surface is located at the southern end of the lake off East Pond Road in Oakland.The water quality of East Pond is below average. The East Pond Association has completed a watershed survey and is seeking Section 319 grants to work on rectifying the problem by encouraging lakefront property owners to create vegetative buffers and fix other erosion problems that allow phosphorus and other pollutants to enter the water. The association has also "partnered in innovative water quality improvement studies and pilot projects through Colby College, the University of Maine, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, [and] the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department."