LINCOLN, Maine — The timing could not be better: With summer at its height and town boating and tourist traffic almost as elevated, town and state officials have opened a new boat landing, they said Monday.
The new launch leads into Upper Coldstream Pond and is on Furrough Lane, a private road legally accessible to the public that is off Stanhope Mill Road.
The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife installed the launch, the seventh town-owned or leased launch to Lincoln’s more than 14 ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, officials said. Thirteen of those ponds or lakes are entirely within town lines, which accounts for Lincoln being known as “the land of 13 lakes.”
“It cost us nothing,” Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said of the launch.
Town Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Davis is working with state inland fisheries officials to put buoys or other markers near the launch, which, because Davis is on vacation, won’t happen immediately. It might occur by the end of the month, town Code Enforcement Supervisor Ruth Birtz said.
Another landing, on Folsom Pond, was rebuilt in July to address problems with soil erosion and pollutant infiltration into the pond, Goodwin said.
The newest launch is installed at the shoreline end of a long, rock-bordered trench that was dug into the pond bed by workers at a sawmill built in the 1900s to facilitate water flow to a dam. The area around the trench is shallow — a problem exacerbated by the recent lack of rain — and hazardous. At least one boat using the launch was damaged by the rocks recently, Birtz said.
“I didn’t see it myself, but I understand they wrapped the motor pretty badly around the rocks,” Birtz said Monday of the boaters. “You have a lot of shallow area and rocks there, so people who are visiting on that pond might not be aware of that.”
Launch users should be cautious of the rocks and other shallows and be mindful of the buoys when they are installed, Birtz said.
The town has or leases public launches on Folsom, Upper Coldstream at Millet Mallett Road, Long and Stump ponds, plus Mattanawcook Lake and onto the Penobscot River in South Lincoln off Route 6, Birtz said.
Town officials seek to install launches eventually at the rest of the town’s ponds, including Cambolasse, Caribou, Center, Crooked and Upper Long ponds, but that depends on cooperation from landowners and whatever funds are available, Birtz said.
The cost of the new boat launch was not available Monday.