Bryant Lake, Maine, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Maine - Lakes & Mountains -

Also known as:  Lake Christopher, Bryant Pond

Slowly, afternoon slips into evening and the light dims on Bryant Lake. Suddenly the still water is broken as trout leap, following the evening hatch of small flies. The fishermen follow the trout and the chase is on. They come for the fish, but anglers aren’t the only ones who love Bryant Lake. Set in the foothills of the White Mountains, it is truly a lake for all seasons.

Bryant Lake, more commonly known as Lake Christopher, is in the Village of Bryant Pond in the Town of Woodstock in Oxford County, Maine. As if that weren’t confusing enough, Lake Christopher is often referred to as Bryant Pond. Regardless of what it is called, however, Lake Christopher is sure to delight visitors year-round.

The lake is in the Androscoggin River Valley, part of the Lakes and Mountains region of western Maine. It sits in the shadow of some of Maine’s most beautiful mountains, at the place where the Appalachians and the Appalachian Trail straddle New Hampshire and Maine. Encompassing much of the same land, the White Mountain National Forest is to the north of Lake Christopher. Established May 16, 1918, the forest covers parts of Maine and New Hampshire and has over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Grafton Notch State Park is a short drive from Lake Christopher and has 3,000 acres of land to explore. Visitors can hike the loop trail to Moose Cave or marvel at the glacially formed Screw Auger Falls and Mother Walker Falls. There are trails for hiking and snowmobiling and plenty of opportunities to picnic and bird watch. The natural beauty of the surrounding region provides the perfect backdrop for picturesque Lake Christopher.

Winter at the lake brings horse-drawn sleigh rides through the snow-hushed countryside and ice skating on the lake. Both activities are best followed by hot chocolate in one of the many cottages and vacation rentals that ring the lake. Committed anglers can ice fish in Lake Christopher’s deep water. The nearby mountains provide ample opportunity to downhill ski, and there are groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and dog sledding. Lake Christopher is close enough to all the area’s activities to make it the perfect home base.

In the spring and summer, Lake Christopher explodes with fish and fishermen. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocks brook trout, landlocked salmon and splake. A hybrid cross of the male brook trout, also known as speckled trout and the female lake trout, splake grow larger and live longer than their parents and prosper in cold water lakes. There are also healthy populations of chain pickerel, golden shiner and rainbow smelt to challenge anglers. The Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center maintains a summer camp and lakeside classroom to study the fish and lake environment. Boating, canoeing and kayaking are great ways to explore Lake Christopher’s 276 acres and center island.

Off-water activities include a day of golf at one of the area’s golf courses with manicured greens rolling against the spectacular mountain views. Bethel, self proclaimed as “Maine’s most beautiful mountain village,” has a historic district dating back to before the Revolutionary War. Visitors can stroll past the beautiful historic homes or stay at one of the bed and breakfasts. Quaint New England shops and restaurants round out a stay at Lake Christopher. For guests that can’t bear to leave, there is real estate for sale to make their stay more permanent.

As the temperature drops and fall approaches, the nearby forest puts on a show of color and apple picking replaces swimming and summer activities. Mornings are for sipping cups of coffee on the deck of one of Lake Christopher’s lakeside cottages while watching the loons glide across the still water. After a day of New England antiquing, cool fall evenings beg for fleece blankets and steaming mugs of “chowdah.”

As the seasons turn, Lake Christopher offers new treasures to discover. Lake Christopher in Bryant Pond has more than four seasons of activities to delight any visitor. It is the perfect setting for a quintessential New England getaway.

Things to do at Bryant Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Bryant Lake

  • Brook Trout
  • Carp
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Lake Trout
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Salmon
  • Smelt
  • Splake Trout
  • Trout

Bryant Lake Photo Gallery

    Bryant Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 276 acres

    Shoreline Length: 5 miles

    Average Depth: 32 feet

    Maximum Depth: 63 feet

    Water Volume: 9,172 acre-feet

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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