Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Rhode Island - Washington County -

Also known as:  Charlestown Pond

Ninigret Pond is a coastal lagoon located in the town of Charlestown in Rhode Island’s Washington County. With a surface area of 1,539 acres, Ninigret is the largest lagoon, or “salt pond,” in southern Rhode Island. The pond is situated on low-lying ground that was formed after the recession of glaciers 12,000 years ago. Ninigret Pond is connected to the Atlantic Ocean on Block Island Sound. The natural breach-way that connected the pond to the ocean was filled in by tides depositing sand. The townspeople installed a permanent channel to Block Island Sound in the early 1950s to replace the brackish water with salt water, thereby creating a tidal estuary that is home to a variety of marine life. Today, the salt pond is the perfect getaway with plenty of recreational activities to offer.

With an average depth of 4.2 feet, Ninigret Pond is a generally shallow body of water best suited for small boats, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats. There are plenty of public access points available; some are owned by full-service marinas. Sail the open water and explore the numerous coves along the shoreline. Mud Cove, Foster Cove, Coon Cove, and Taugtog Cove are the main coves in the area. Ninigret Pond also connects to Green Hill Pond via a small channel under Creek Bridge. Anglers will real in an assortment of fish including whitefish, smelt, winter flounder and northern pike. You can also find shellfish such as clams, quahogs, blue crabs, eel, and bay scallops in the area.

As a result of heavy development on the eastern shore, the water quality of Ninigret Pond was found to be degrading. Restoration projects have been put into place to restore the pond to its healthy habitat. Projects such as dredging sand sedimentation and restoration of eelgrass beds have been the collaborative effort of federal, state and local agencies working together. The Nature Conservancy is inspecting breach-ways to insure the proper amount of salt water is filtered into the pond. The Conservancy has also been aiding the clam population by transplanting hundreds of thousands of adult hard clams into the pond to improve water clarity and clam population. Ninigret Pond is now one of the cleanest of the nine salt ponds in the area.

The habitat surrounding Ninigret Pond is perfectly well-rounded for all wildlife enthusiasts. On the shore of the pond is the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge has an abundance of diverse landscapes including salt marshes, kettle ponds, freshwater wetlands, maritime shrub lands and forests dominated by oak or maple. Over 250 birds visit seasonally, and 70 species call it home, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is ideal for birders and photographers. The strip of land used to be a Naval Auxiliary landing field during World War II; it was then restored into a national habitat. The refuge doubles as a historical site rich in history. An interpretive “trails through time” route passes through the refuge containing remnants of the numerous runways, taxi-ways, and buildings which supported the war effort. Ninigret Park is located to the north of the pond and offers groomed nature trails for hiking and biking, as well as basketball, volleyball, tennis, and baseball opportunities.

Ninigret Pond has plenty of activities to offer all age groups. With plenty of vacation rentals, camp grounds, and real estate properties for sale, Ninigret is easily accessible. Take a dive in the ocean, or try your luck harvesting clams. The Charlestown area is sure to capture your heart.

Things to do at Ninigret Pond

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge

Fish species found at Ninigret Pond

  • Eel
  • Flounder
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Smelt
  • Whitefish

Ninigret Pond Photo Gallery

    Ninigret Pond Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Saltwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 1,539 acres

    Average Depth: 4 feet

    Water Volume: 6,413 acre-feet

    Drainage Area: 9 sq. miles

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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".

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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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