Below you will find the answers to common questions about Taylor Pond and the Taylor Pond Association.
Where is Taylor Pond?
The Taylor Pond that this website deals with is located in Auburn Maine as shown on the map below.
How do I become a member of the Taylor Pond Association?
A. Go to JOIN and print out the form, fill out the required fields and mail it to the specified address with your donation.
What are the physical characteristics of the pond?
A. Taylor Pond covers an area of 640 acres, drains a watershed of 13.58 square miles, has a volume of 11643 acre-feet, flushes at a rate of 1.34 flushes per year. It has a maximum depth of 44 feet and mean depth of 17 feet. It is located at an elevation of 240 feet above sea level.
Why should I be concerned about Taylor Pond?
A. Taylor Pond has been listed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a lake “most at risk from new development” (this listing has also been applied to 232 other lakes in Maine). Due to this status both the pond and all of the watershed that drains into the pond are protected by laws to ensure the continued high quality of the water.
What maintains the minimum water level of Taylor Pond?
A. The current level of the pond, according to a 2017 report by Wright-Pierce Engineering, is maintained by a beaver dam on Taylor Brook after the Hotel Road crossing. A 2012 report by a hydrologic expert figured that the water level at that time was controlled by a natural berm of soil built up at the outlet. Prior to placement of the existing culverts on Hotel Road, a screen was placed under the bridge to prevent fish passage. This screen became blocked with debris and functioned essentially as a dam. However, at this time, there is no dam on Taylor Pond and no human directed methods to control the water level.
What is the current quality of the water?
A. Taylor Pond Association has monitored the water quality since 1975 producing a comprehensive picture. One way of measuring water quality is by measuring the greatest depth one can see an object. This measurement, water clarity, averages 15.1 feet for Taylor Pond compared with 15.9 feet for all lakes measured in Maine. Measuring phosphorous in the water is the most reliable measure of water quality. When the phosphorous is high, algae may overgrow the lake decreasing water clarity and oxygen levels that support aquatic life. The average phosphorous level in Taylor Pond measures 11 which compares favorably with the average for all lakes measured in Maine of 12. For the latest complete technical report please check out Water Quality Reports.
What laws should I know about as an owner of property on the shoreline?
A. We have found that this booklet will provide most of your answers .
How are my dues spent?
A. Most of the work of Taylor Pond Association is done by volunteers. Money provided to Taylor Pond is used to purchase and upkeep water monitor equipment, lab testing fees, hiring consultants, outreach, educational activities, grant program and administrative costs.
What can I personally do to improve Taylor Pond water quality?
A. Storm water runoff is the main way in which phosphorous enters the pond. Phosphorous makes algae grow reducing the clarity of the water, causing an unpleasant appearance and depleting the oxygen in the water so that fish die. Directing runoff into a vegetated area to slowly percolate into the lake allows natural factors to remove the phosphate. Keep land disturbance to a minimum, do not remove natural vegetation or expose bare soil and leave at least a 25 foot buffer strip along the shore with unmowed natural vegetation. Trees along the shoreline protect the soil from erosion and cutting them is extremely limited by law. Do not fertilize near the pond, lime is often more effective than fertilizers, organic mulches are generally safer and for best results have your soil tested before adding any fertilizer. Use non-phosphorus detergents, do not allow soap into the water, do not allow water washed off cars to run into the pond. Do not add sand, dredge or rake in the lake as these activities also increase phosphate and require a permit.
What is the geology of Taylor Pond?
A. The soils around Taylor Pond are characterized by a high water table or a shallow depth to bedrock. Underlying the surface are outwash sands and gravels with underlying marine clay deposits. The main inlets to Taylor Pond are Lapham Brook which enters at the northern end and Hodgkins Brook on the west shore and numerous smaller seasonal streams and wetlands. The main outlet is Taylor Brook. There are numerous wetlands, including on the north end where Lapham Brook enters, on the west shore where Hodgkins Brook enters and large areas along the southwestern and southern shore areas. Wetlands act as a natural sponge to soak up water and prevent flooding. They also function to remove large amounts of phosphorous.
How can I help Taylor Pond Association
A. We need people for the following activities:
Attendance at city meetings such as the planning and zoning boards to advocate for Taylor Pond
Participation in projects for soil and water conservation
People interested in serving on the board.
The most important volunteer activity that you can do is to look at your own property and ask what you can do to improve the pond. For most people, this would be to make sure your property has a natural buffer area between the pond and any lawn or structure.
Please feel free to contact the president by e-mail at [email protected] with your interest in volunteering.
Does Taylor Pond have any Invasive Species?
A. Currently we have no aquatic invasive plant species in Taylor Pond. Milfoil has been discovered in Lake Auburn and many lakes and ponds in Maine now contain invasive species. It only takes one careless person to introduce one fragment into the pond to create a tremendous problem. Minute fragments of invasive plants are capable of reproducing and overrunning the entire pond. Activities by which ponds have been contaminated include introducing a boat or trailer into the pond that has attached plant particles from a contaminated pond, jet skis that have sucked in plant particles from another pond, fishing tackle with attached plant particles and dumping aquaria plants into the pond. Introduction of invasive plant species can result in a fine of $500 to $5,000.
The worst invasive animal we currently may have is the Northern Pike. An ice fisherman informed us this that pike have been introduced (illegally) in Taylor Pond. Pike are an aggressive species and can upset the balance in a lake leading to a deterioration in water quality. Many large pike over 2 feet in length have been caught in the lake.
The illegal introduction of any fish into Maine waters is a Class E crime, punishable by fines up to $10,000. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is offering a minimum reward of $2,000 for information leading to the apprehension of people illegally introducing fish.
Are the fish in Taylor Pond safe to eat?
A. Fish in Maine’s lakes, ponds and rivers all contain mercury. One major source of the mercury is thought to be the power plants that power the Midwest. Fallout from the pollution created by their smokestacks lands in our state and has been found in many birds and fish. Adults and children older than eight may only eat up to 2 meals of freshwater fish per month. Brook trout and landlocked salmon may be eaten as often as once a week. Pregnant and nursing women, woman who may get pregnant and children under age eight should not eat any freshwater fish except they may have one meal of brook trout or landlocked salmon per month.
There is a list of Maine waters from which fish have been found to have high levels of PCBs, Dioxins or DDT. Taylor Pond is not currently on the list of such waters. For more information about the safety of eating fish visit the Maine Government website.
How thick does the ice have to be before you can walk on it?
A. The pond tends to freeze over starting at the edges. Usually within a week the entire pond will be covered with a thin layer of ice. The ice forms best on a windless cold night. A strong wind will keep sections of the pond open for weeks after the rest of the pond freezes. Occasionally small patches of ice will stay open after most of the ice forms, these are likely the site of springs that introduce warmer water in the lake. Knowing where all these weak spots are is important before going out on the ice. Once the ice is solid and clear blue, 2 inches will support one person, 3 inches will support a group in single file and four to six inches will support a group of people and gear they might carry. A car can be driven onto ice once it reaches 7.5 inches thick. If the ice is not clear, if it appears honeycombed or there is wet (dark) snow on the surface the ice is much weaker.
Ice tends to be thicker on the edges initially and thinner towards the middle. To check the thickness of the ice, start from shore and drill a series of holes as you progress into the center. You should make sure that the minimum thickness is met as you progress out towards the center. Snow tends to insulate the ice and keeps it from forming properly. Water may be found under the snow and above the ice. This forms on warm days when the sun melts the snow. This water can be found even when the temperature is well below zero Fahrenheit.
When I first go out on the ice I always go with another person. We carry a rope so that we can rescue each other if one should fall in. We also bring ice picks for each hand. The ice pick can be used to pull oneself out of the water onto thin ice. I also talk to everyone I meet to find out where there might be problems with the ice.
Are fish stocked in Taylor Pond?
A. Smallmouth Bass were the first fish recorded to have been introduced into Taylor Pond in the 1800’s as part of a deliberate program of the Maine Fish and Wildlife program. Between 1948 and 1989 Brown Trout were stocked annually. Since 1990 Maine has not stocked Taylor Pond due to its “lack of public access”. Pike are not native to Maine. However, Northern Pike have been caught in Taylor Pond since at least 2004 suggesting that they are either spreading from another infestation or ilegal stocking has occured. Alewives have been stocked annually since 1983 by the Department of Marine Resources.
What about Alewives?
A. Alewives have been stocked in Taylor Pond by the Department of Marine Resources since 1983. Approximately 3000 to 3500 fish are stocked from early May to early June. The mature fish move up river in spring from the ocean to spawn in lakes and ponds. They are first blocked access to Taylor Pond by the Brunswick Dam. The fish are caught at the Brunswick fish ladder and transported by truck to Taylor Pond. The fish average 12 inches in length and 0.6 lbs each. The adults remain in Taylor Pond until mid to late June when they head down the Androscoggin River back to the ocean. Before the adults leave they spawn. The eggs hatch in the pond and juvenile alewives grow rapidly. Starting in July and lasting into October the juvenile alewives begin their migration to the ocean. The Department of Marine Resources considers Taylor Pond to be good habitat for the Alewives due to its small size, shallow areas for breeding and its high biologic productivity. When they leave Taylor Pond the juvenile alewives vary in size from 1.5 to 5 inches in length. For the next 3-4 years they will spend their time in the ocean growing to adult size. Once they are adults, each fish attempts to return to the pond in which it was spawned. Adult alewives smell the identifying characteristics of Taylor Pond and get stopped at the Brunswick Dam in early May when the cycle starts over again. Read more on Alewives in a post from 2007.
How do I report a possible violation of water quality laws?
A. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is charged with investigating possible violation of water quality protection laws. If you believe that someone on the pond has intentionally or unintentionally violated a law contact the nearest regional DEP office in Augusta: (207) 287-7688 or go to their web page..
What are those clouds of slimy green stuff that hang around in clumps in shallow water?
A. Towards the end of summer and especially in shallow water one often finds large green and slimy clumps called metaphyton. Metaphyton form from free floating strands of algae blown by the wind that gather into big masses. They often become lodged in clumps of plants near the shore. They are found in all types of lakes, even lakes considered pristine and unaffected by people or pollution. They are not toxic to fish or people and do not harm the water quality although they can be unpleasant to swim through! Scientists are still studying the meaning that the presence of these clumps imply.
Are there any invasive plants in Taylor Pond?
A. There are currently no known invasive aquatic plants in Taylor Pond. Read on for more information duplicated from a recent news article:
What worries me the most when I think about water quality on Taylor Pond? Invasive plants have the ability to irreversibly change the nature of our pond. I grew up in Massachusetts where many of the lakes are now infested with invasive plants. I made summertime trips to cousins who lived on a lake in Wisconsin that now is congested with invasives. All of the “lower 48 states” except Maine have major problems and spend large sums on this problem. These plants can clog up the water making swimming unpleasant, tangle in boat motors, and die off, at times in large numbers, using up all the oxygen needed by fish.
How easily can they enter the lake? Less than ½ an inch of a plant is all it takes to become established in a lake. People who move their boats from lake to lake are the most common source of transfer. Most invasives first appear near public boat ramps.
How likely are we to suffer an invasion? Consider the facts that invasives currently live in Lake Auburn, the Basin, the Little Androscoggin River, Range Pond, Sebago and Thompson Lake. The invasive plants have gradually progressed from southwestern Maine to the north and they ultimately threaten all lakes in Maine. We are in the direct path of this onslaught.
What can you do to prevent invasion of Taylor Pond? Never dump aquarium plants or bait fish into our pond. Inspect any boat placed in the water for attached plants especially small pieces that remain attached to the motor or trailer parts. Even small dried fragments have been known to come to life and spread an infestation.
IS TAYLOR POND SAFE FOR DRINKING AND SWIMMING?
The quick and simple answers to this question is no and maybe. Water from Taylor Pond is not considered safe to drink without treatment. The water is, however, safe for swimming but with some concerns. Please refer to this article for details.