LINCOLN, Maine — The area’s first man-made, public children’s fishing pond might be stocked with trout this fall, thanks to the discovery that the pond’s ecosystem has developed more quickly than expected, town officials said Tuesday.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife officials checked the ecosystem in the last few weeks and saw that the pond, which they expected to open in the spring, had grown the algae and bacteria that fish feed on, town Economic Development Director Ruth Birtz said.
“They were very happy with the results they found,” Birtz said Tuesday.
State officials had said in April that they expected the ecosystem would take six to 12 months to grow.
The pond is in wetlands off River Road near the Veterans Affairs clinic and Lincoln Regional Airport, about five miles from the Interstate 95 ramps. The state plans to stock the pond initially with 300 14- to 16-inch trout twice during the first year of operation, town Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Davis has said.
A park just for children also will be included, and the pond might be used for ice fishing or skating in winter, Davis has said.
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 officials agreed to use the land for the project because as a wetland it’s unlikely to have any other use, Birtz has said. State conservation officials have tested the water and concluded it would support the trout they intend to stock in the pond.
The project’s total cost is $48,015, Birtz said. Of that, $38,660 is a federal grant administered through the state Bureau of Land and Water Quality. The rest came with Town Council approval from town stumpage revenues, she said.
Town officials likely will name the area the Edwards Family Children’s Fishing Park, Birtz said.
They hope to coordinate dedication and opening ceremonies with the release of fish into the pond, Birtz said. No date has been set.