BLUE HILL, Maine — Officials from the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will discuss plans to rebuild a dam at the head of Billings Pond at an informational hearing set for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, at the town hall.
The pond has been described as the best wild brook trout pond in Hancock County, but, according to Blue Hill Selectman Duane Gray, the dam at the outlet of the pond has fallen into disrepair and the level of the pond has fallen over the years.
“A lot of folks my age remember the pond at a much greater level, and of course, they remember the trout; you don’t forget that,” he said. “The trout are still there.”
DIF&W officials are proposing rebuilding the dam out of natural materials from the area, a move that would raise the level of the 93-acre pond 1 to 2 feet. It also would improve the access to the pond from state-owned land at the mouth of the pond. The property is accessible from Route 172 near where the outflow of the pond flows into Salt Pond.
The department is working with Emsource, the Portland-based company that took over responsibility for closing the former Kerramerican Mine site located on the shore of Second Pond and adjacent to Carleton Stream, which flows into Billings Pond, also known as First Pond. According to Gray, Emsource has some funds left over from the closure and cleanup of the mine site and is looking for an environmental project to do in the area.
Because the dam will raise the level of the pond, it will affect properties along the shore. Based on preliminary figures provided to the town, Gray said, raising the pond level by 1 foot would move the shoreline about 1 foot onto the surrounding properties.
There are about 25 individual property owners on the pond, Gray said, and they will have to sign off on the project before the department can move ahead. Representatives from DIF&W, along with an engineer and a representative from Emsource will attend the informational hearing to discuss plans for the dam.