The extensive shallow weedy area on Lower Range Pond by the campground
Lower Range Pond is a 290-acre body of water located in Poland, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 5 A3). An excellent hard-top boat launch is located in Range Pond State Park off Plains Road on the eastern side of the lake. Users must pay an access fee to enter the park and use this launch. I also note here that, as per the fishing rules, motor boats over 10 horsepower are not allowed on this pond. That means no speed boats or jet skis or other loud commotion on the water. I access the pond this morning via the Poland Spring campground (right off Route 26) where my son and his family are spending a few days camping before the kids head back to school again.
Only hand-carried crafts can be put in at the informal access point for Little Togus Pond. Note the shallow weed beds in the forefront, the wind, and the southern shore in the background.
Little Togus Pond is a 93-acre body of water located in Augusta (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 C1), just across from its much larger cousin, Togus Pond. The access point is found right off South Belfast Avenue (Route 105) which runs between the two ponds. This informal put-in can only accommodate hand-carried craft because it lacks an actual boat launch. Ample parking is available along the gravelly shoulder of the road.
Only hand-carried crafts have access to Spectacle Pond from the public put-in.
Spectacle Pond is a 139-acre body of water located in Augusta and Vassalboro (see The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 B1). The northern half of this pond is surrounded by the Alonzo Garcelon Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Access is via a rough but drivable gravel road which extends for 1.4 miles through the woods between Church Hill Road and the pond. A small panel labeled “Public Access” located on Church Hill Road, about 1 miles south of Stone Road/Hannaford Hill Road, is the only sign pointing the way to the pond. A large parking area is located at the end of this gravel road. A hard-top launch is not available, however, and only hand-carried craft can be put in the water from this location. I observe an open gate at the beginning of the gravel road, and suspect that it would be unlocked to allow vehicular traffic only after mud season is over in the spring (click here for a similar gate at another wildlife management area).
The weedy parking area next to Cross Hill road can accommodate no more than three vehicles
Tolman Pond is a pretty 62-acre body of water located in Augusta, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 13 B1). This pond is completed contained within the Alonzo Garcelon Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The clearly-marked public access point is located on Cross Hill Road, just shy of one mile north of North Belfast Avenue (Route 202/3/9). The small parking area at the trail head can only accommodate three vehicles. No safe parking is possible on the road shoulder. A public boat launch is unavailable for this pond either. Instead, anglers must walk for about five minutes down a forest trail that links the parking area to the pond.
The public boat launch on Minnehonk Lake is one busy place this afternoon!
Minnehonk Lake is a 99-acre body of water located in Mount Vernon, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 12 A3). The public access is located at the northern tip of the lake off Main Street in the downtown area. Be aware that this access point is a busy place on summer weekends, with local residents swimming, picnicking and socializing. The launch is not hard-topped or improved but can easily accommodate small motorized boats. Plenty of parking is available on Main Street for cars without trailers. However, no spaces exist for vehicles with trailers, which have to be squeezed on the road shoulder. Also, be aware that it is tricky backing up a vehicle with a boat trailer into position to go down the launch because all of that maneuvering must occur right in the middle of Main Street.
The muddy access point at the southern end of the southern arm of Little Watchic Pond can only accommodate hand-carried craft
Little Watchic Pond is a 55-acre body of water located in Standish, Maine (see the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer map 4 D5). Click here for directions on how to access this pond. I haven’t fished it for several years now and am eager to give it a try again. In the past, I rarely had to share this water with other anglers, which is surprising given its close proximity to several towns in the surrounding area. I guess that may be due to its hidden nature and its relative inaccessibility. However, the place can get noisy if people are target shooting in the nearby gravel pit. Also, years ago, two guys placed a long line of buoys to create a water skiing obstacle course in the southern arm. I’m actually surprised to observe upon arrival today that the buoys are still there! Given the small size of the pond, the water gets noisy and wavy when these two do their practice runs. Fortunately for me, no one is shooting or water skiing when I reach my destination.
The informal put-in off Switzerland Road In Lewiston
This blog is the last in a series of four entries pertaining to smallmouth bass fishing on the Androscoggin River flowing through the Lewiston/Auburn metro area (click here, here, and here for the other three related blogs). Today, my focus is on the area right below the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam. This sizable structure is responsible for maintaining Gulf Island Pond, which is the largest reservoir on the Androscoggin River in Maine. I’m not aware of the presence of a public boat launch between the Gulf Island Hydropower Dam and the Deer Run Hydropower Dam located about a mile further downstream. So, I use Google Maps prior to my departure to locate a potential access point for my canoe. To reach this informal put-in, drive north through Lewiston on Routes 11/100/202 and turn left on Switzerland Road. Stay on this road for 1.2 miles (pass the Saint Peters Cemetery). The put-in is on the left across from the first house after the cemetery. You’ve gone too far if you drive underneath the high-voltage power lines or reach Gulf Island Avenue. Note that one cannot drive directly to the dam from this side of the river because Switzerland Avenue turns into a CMP Company private road, which is posted and gated. The put-in is located about 2000 ft downstream of the dam. Parking is along the road shoulder. Note that I did not check for an alternative access point on the other side of the river.