We launch the canoe in the large pool across from the retaining wall
Panther Run (a.k.a. Jordan River) is formed by the outlet of Panther Pond in Raymond, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). The river starts at the dam on Mill Street and flows for one or so convoluted mile towards Jordan Bay in Sebago Lake. The big pool along the retaining wall by the dam is an accessible and popular brook trout fishing hole (click here for details). The river in the immediate vicinity of the dam flows briskly in early spring and has a substrate consisting of coarse sand, gravel and cobbles. In fact, the water flow and substrate composition are such that landlocked Atlantic salmon migrate up from Sebago Lake every fall to lay their eggs in this stretch of the river. But don’t be fooled… The character of the river changes dramatically no more than about 1000 ft downstream of the dam: the current slows down considerably, the banks widen up and become severely eroded, the water deepens in many places, and the substrate is made up entirely of fine white sand. The bottom is also carpeted with branches and other woody debris.
Chaffin Pond does not have a boat launch
Chaffin Pond is a 13-acre body of water located in Donnabeth Lipman Park in Windham, Maine (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 C2). The entrance to this community park is clearly marked by a grey granite sign located next to the Sherman Williams paint store on Route 302 in downtown Windham. The pond forms the center piece of a 123-acre preserve, which provides ample parking, hiking trails, a small playground, and several picnic tables. It is hard to believe that this peaceful natural real estate co-exists with all the intense road traffic and commercial hustle and bustle on busy Route 302 just a few 100 ft away!
The entrance to Tyler Pond is clearly visible from Summerhaven Road
Tyler Pond is a 22-acre body of water located in Manchester, Kennebec County (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 B5). The clearly-marked public access point is reachable from Summerhaven Road. Two parking areas are available, depending on the season. The first one is in front of a gate. That gate is locked when I arrive. I suspect that one of its purposes is to prevent the public, during mud season, from driving down – and damaging – the dirt road linking the first parking lot to a second one located next to the pond. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the gate to the pond (stay to the right when the gravel road splits about 1000 ft past the gate). Only hand-carried craft can be used on this water because a boat launch is not available. I choose this pond because it is well stocked with brookies (click here for details) and is managed to produce a trophy brook trout fishery. As a result, the fishing rules are strict: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) only artificial lures are allowed, and (c) the daily bag limit on trout is two fish, with a minimum length of 12” and only one trout can exceed 14”.
View of Kimball Pond from the rough boat launch
Kimball pond is a 55-acre body of water located in the town of Vienna in the far northwestern fringes of Kennebec County. The public access point is located off Kimball Pond Road. It consists of a rough unimproved boat launch best used for dispatching a canoe or a kayak, although one could launch a small trailered boat in a pinch. I selected this pond because it is well stocked with brookies (click here for details) and is managed especially to produce a trophy brook trout fishery. As a result, the fishing rules are strict: (a) the pond is closed to ice fishing, (b) only artificial lures are allowed, and (c) the daily bag limit on trout is two fish, with a minimum length of 12” and only one trout can exceed 14”.