LINCOLN, Maine — The area’s first man-made children’s fishing pond likely will be built by this winter and ready for fishing next spring on 6.8 acres off River Road, officials said Tuesday.
Construction bids on the $38,000 project are due back in two weeks with construction likely to start a week after that if the Town Council approves the contract award, said Jerry Davis, the town’s code enforcement officer.
“Construction will probably take two or three weeks,” Davis said Tuesday. “Once it’s built, we will have it fill with water naturally. We will probably have to kick out two or three beaver dams above it to get enough water. If that doesn’t work, we will probably have one of the Fire Department’s tanker trucks pump water into it.”
Besides saving the project about $3,500 by retaining water that eventually will be used in the pond, the beaver dams are a key component to the whole project, said Davis and project designer engineer Ted Ocana of Foresight Engineering of Lincoln.
“They add some wildlife adventure to the whole thing,” Ocana said Tuesday.
The pond will be built in wetlands near the Veterans Affairs clinic and Lincoln Regional Airport, about five miles from the Interstate 95 ramps. The state will stock the pond annually. A park just for children also will be included, Davis said, and the pond might be used for ice fishing or skating in winter, depending on its depth.
About 4.87 acres of the total parcel was donated to the town by the Edwards family and will be named after the late family patriarch, George Edwards. The town bought the rest of the land. It is a low-lying wetland, town Economic Development Supervisor Ruth Birtz has said.
Town officials agreed to use the land for the project because as wetlands it’s unlikely to have any other use, Birtz has said. State conservation officials have tested the water in the wetlands and concluded that it would support the trout they intend to stock in the pond.
The project has had innumerable delays caused by difficulties in finding an engineer at a state agency willing to take on the design of the pond, among other things, Birtz said.
The pond will be as much as 12 feet deep in places and have numerous stumps, hollowed logs, lean-tos and other shade providers installed by the state to help guarantee survival of the trout and other fish that need cold, deep water, Ocana said.
Town Public Works Department workers leveled ground for the parking lot to the pond last month. Picnic tables and portable grills will be installed around the pond next spring, Davis said. The pond will be fully accessible to disabled residents.