Friends of Monson Pond work to clean it and keep it healthy

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 1:14 PM EDT
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FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine (WAGM) - Steve Towle, the Director of the Friends of Monson Pond group says Monson Pond is located in Fort Fairfield and Easton. The watershed is in those two towns, plus Canada.

It’s a place the public can kayak, swim, fish and about 75 camps surround the water as well. About a year and a half ago a group of concerned citizens got together and formed the group Friends of Monson Pond, hoping to take care of this very important part of the community.

Towle says “A group of us got together and new there was issues here at the pond to be dealt with. And the next thing you know, we formed a 501C3 corporation and with that we started down the path of discovering what the problems were, what we might do about it and a time table of getting some of those things done.”

Issues include water quality, in fact, the state of Maine has classified Monson Pond as an impaired pond due to the water not being as clean and clear as it should be. There is also an excess of aquatic vegetation.

“And there’s some complaints from the local fisherman of what’s this new species we seem to have here, an abundance of? The fish species called Bullheads. We’ve talked to inland fisheries and wildlife about that and tried to see what’s going on there, but again, we’re not the experts, we seek the advice from the experts to help with that problem.” according to Towle.

The next step is to continue gathering information, so a watershed survey will be conducted Saturday by Friends of Monson Pond volunteers.

Towle says, “A friend once said the little pond is suffering a slow death by a thousand cuts. The watershed survey is an attempt with an all volunteer group, to try to locate hundreds of those improperly built roads, water erosion, storm advance brings silt to streams then directly to the pond and into the watershed, it all ends up in the pond increasing phosphorous levels. And our mission is to find as many of those as we possibly can and try to make the pond a better place for all of the recreational activities and the camp owners.”

Towle adds, the group isn’t making or enforcing rules. They simply want to clean up the pond. He says they plan to apply for grant money to fund big projects they find. In the meantime, he hopes people will continue to enjoy what the pond has to offer.

“It’s a great place to fish, it is stocked. And enjoy the small pond peace and quiet, you might say. Kayaks, fishing boats, boy this is the place to be.” according to Towle.

For more information you can visit the Friends of Monson Pond website and Facebook Page.