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Sebago Lake: Wikis


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Sebago Lake
A beach in Sebago Lake State Park
Location Cumberland County, Maine
Coordinates 43°51′N 70°34′W / 43.85°N 70.567°W / 43.85; -70.567Coordinates: 43°51′N 70°34′W / 43.85°N 70.567°W / 43.85; -70.567
Lake type oligotrophic
Primary outflows Presumpscot River
Catchment area 440 square miles (1,100 km2)[1]
Basin countries United States
Max. length 12 mi (19 km)
Surface area 30,513 acres (12,348 ha)[1]
Average depth 107 ft (33 m)[1]
Max. depth 316 ft (96 m)[1]
Water volume 3,224,233 acre·ft (3.977033×109 m3)[1]
Residence time 5.1 to 5.4 yrs
Shore length1 6.4 miles (10.3 km)[1]
Surface elevation 267 ft (81 m)[1]
Islands Frye Island
Settlements Casco, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham
References [1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
Steamboat Landing in c. 1910

Sebago Lake is the deepest and second largest lake in the U.S. state of Maine. The lake is 316 feet (96 m) deep at its deepest point, with a mean depth of 101 feet (31 m), covers about 45 square miles (117 km2) in surface area, has a length of 12 miles (19 km) and a shoreline length of 105 miles (169 km).[2] The surface is around 270 feet (82 m) above sea level, so the deep bottom is below the present sea level.[3] It is located in Cumberland County, Maine and bordered by the towns of Casco, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish and Windham. The seasonally occupied town of Frye Island is on an island in the lake.[4]

The lake is connected to Brandy Pond by the Songo River and eventually to Long Lake in Naples. The name comes from a local Native American tribe. The lake is drained primarily by the Presumpscot River. Prior to construction of a railroad in 1870, Sebago Lake was linked to Portland harbor by the Cumberland and Oxford Canal. The outlet to the river has been dammed since 1875 by the Eel Weir Dam and the Head Dam, owned and operated by the S. D. Warren Paper Mill. [2][5]


Water Supply

Sebago Lake is the primary water supply for the Portland Water District, which serves the Greater Portland region and about 15% of Maine's population. The lake's watershed is more than 50 miles (80 km) long and covers parts of 24 Maine towns.[6]

The lake holds roughly 995 billion gallons of water that on average resides 5.1 to 5.4 years in the lake. The direct watershed is about 171 square miles (443 km2) of land plus the 45 square miles (117 km2) of the lake, and the indirect watershed about 190 square miles (490 km2) of land plus about 28 square miles (73 km2) of other bodies of water. As of May 1990, roughly 86% of the watershed was forests and fallow fields, 2.5% in active timber operations, 9.3% in residential, agricultural, and commercial use, and 2.2% used for other purposes. Water inflow is estimated at 544 million gallons per day and outflow at 498 million gallons per day, of which 24 million gallons/day are for the water district.[2]


In 1938, Maine opened Sebago Lake State Park as one of its original five state parks. The area was a recreation center even before this. The park is now 1,400 acres (mostly forested), open year-round, and has facilities including two public boat launches and a 250-site campground.[7] There are also numerous private campgrounds, cottages, and other recreational facilities in the area.

Camp Wohelo on the lake is currently home to the University of Michigan's New England Literature Program, an experiential literature and writing program run through the university's Department of English Language and Literature which was started in the 1970s by professors Alan Howes and Walter Clark. Howes and Clark called upon Thoreauvian ideals of nature, independence and community to create an academic program modeled after Thoreau's experiment at Walden Pond. Today, students at NELP study Thoreau's work – as well as that of several other New England writers from the 19th and 20th centuries – in relative isolation.

Sebago Lake is in the portion of Maine that the Maine tourism industry refers to as the Western Lakes and Mountains Region.



The lake contains natural populations of land-locked salmon (Salmo salar sebago) and smelt. When the last major glaciers retreated, the entire watershed was under seawater, and populations of these marine animals became established as the land rose and seawaters retreated.[8]

Other game fish that can be found in the lake include lake trout, brook trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike.[9] Some of these are stocked by the state, either in the lake directly or in connected bodies of water, while others were introduced illegally.[10] The state encourages anglers to kill, hold, and notify them of all northern pike taken in the lake because they were introduced illegally, are not native to the region, and could disrupt the lake ecosystem. [11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Maine Depts. of Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. "Maine Lakes: Morphometry and Geographic Information". Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research, The University of Maine. Retrieved 2008-07-31.  
  2. ^ a b c "Sebago Lake". Portland Water District, Portland Maine. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  3. ^ "Why is Sebago Lake so deep?". Maine Geological Survey, Department of Conservation, State of Maine. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  4. ^ "Total Phosphorus Loads for Selected Tributaries to Sebago Lake, Maine" (PDF). Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4003. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  5. ^ "Sebago Lake Water Level". Portland Water District, Portland Maine. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  6. ^ "Sebago Lake". Portland Water District, Portland Maine. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  7. ^ "Sebago Lake State Park". Bureau of Parks & Lands, Department of Conservation, State of Maine. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  8. ^ "Presumpscot River: Sebago Lake to Westbrook". Outdoors, Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  9. ^ "Sebago Lake". Sebago Lake, Casco Maine Fly Fish Waters. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  10. ^ "Sebago's salmon". Outdoors, Retrieved 2006-05-05.  
  11. ^ "Sebago Region Fisheries Newsletter". Sebago Region Fisheries Newsletter, 19th edition - December 2005. Retrieved 2006-05-05.  

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:


Sebago Lake


Sebago Lake

  1. a large lake in Maine.


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