Schoodic Lake, Maine, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Maine - Maine Highlands -

One of the large lakes in the Maine Highlands region, Schoodic Lake has managed to stay off the recreation radar of many Maine vacationers. Only an hour and a half from Bangor, limited public access appears to be the main reason that the lake receives few visitors. Two boat ramps provide the only means for the public to access the 7,021-acre lake. Most of the 32-mile shoreline is in private hands, with many large tracts offering a wilderness vista. Many private homes and ‘camps’ are located along the shoreline. The lake is available for all water sports, with water skiing, personal watercraft, and power boats occasionally seen. Pontoons, canoes, rowboats and small fishing craft are the more common mode of accessing the water. The fishing is more than good-it is excellent!

Schoodic Lake is managed primarily as a cold water fishery by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW). Salmon, brook trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, round whitefish, cusk and white perch are all caught. The lake trout population is so healthy that state hatcheries have for several years collected lake trout eggs for controlled hatching and stocking into other lakes. The two boat ramps, both on the west side of the lake, are operated by DIFW. One near the tiny village of Lake View has little information and is not listed on official boat launch websites. The other, at Knights Point, recently underwent renovations by the state to improve access and parking. Although Schoodic lake is designated a cold-water fishery, the smallmouth bass population is also abundant and provides plenty of sport. Many camp owners enjoy swapping ‘fish tales’ and hot spot locations among the large coves. Schoodic Lake offers a summer bass fishing derby and an annual February ice fishing derby timed to coincide with the annual free fishing weekend.

Set in a scenic wooded area, excellent views of Mount Katahdin can be seen from the lake. The second and third-growth hardwood forests surrounding Schoodic Lake stretch for miles and are a natural haven for deer, moose, bear and smaller mammals. Most of the surrounding gravel roads in the area are little used and make for excellent walking and bicycling. The roads are locally popular in all seasons; cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are favored winter sports. Those lucky enough to have a camp or home at Schoodic Lake are in an ideal area for accessing some of the best nature observation, hiking and mountain climbing in this part of Maine. A 100-mile wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail crosses within a few miles, while Baxter State Park, Sebois Lake and the Sebois section of public lands are likewise within an hour’s drive. The few vacation rentals on the lake are the ideal place to enjoy the water in a rustic and serene setting.

The tiny village of Lake View holds only necessary supplies and services. Other larger towns are located about 20 miles away to the west and south on the main highways. Brownville and Milo can provide nearly every necessity but are not tourist destinations except during the annual festivals. These festivals are often unusual celebrations of ordinary things and events such as the Milo Black Fly Festival during June celebrating the swarming of these pesky northwoods insects (it’s an excuse for a celebration and has become quite popular). Local bakers vie for the title of Best Whoopie Pie of the Year at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival at Dover-Foxcroft. Not far away at Greenville, things are of a more historical nature with the Forest Heritage Days featuring lumberjack contests and a celebration of Maine’s logging heritage. All of these festivals offer plenty of regional and carnival foods, games, rides and vendor booths. Many times a 5K or 10K run brings participants from considerable distances to race.

The larger towns provide lodgings in the form of motels, vacation cottages, bed & breakfasts, inns and nearby campgrounds. Brownville Junction is home to Maine’s largest music park and outdoor entertainment center. Pine Theater here offers movies. The 16-mile multi-use Lagrange to Medford Trail which passes through Lake View Plantation offers plenty of motorized outdoor fun for snowmobiles and ATVs. During hunting season certain areas are open to licensed hunters. These types of recreational opportunities make Schoodic Lake an attractive place to own a vacation camp or year-round home.

There are two competing theories for the origin of the name Schoodic. One says that the name comes from the Native American word sko-tum, meaning trout. Early maps list the lake as Scootum Lake. More technical explanations say that the name comes from the word schoodic, common to both the Maliseet and Penobscot languages, labeling a geological feature-the ridge of glacially deposited gravel as a small hill. Either or both could be correct. The word has long been in local usage in Maine. Another Schoodic Lake is found in Washington County.

Water in Schoodic Lake is exceedingly clean and clear. Depths reach 188 feet with outflow leaving at the dam on Schoodic Stream, a tributary to Piscataquis River. Surprisingly, there are no major inflowing rivers to contribute to this large volume of water. Instead, the lake is primarily spring-fed, with run-off waters filtered through large wetland areas along the shore. Originally dammed and owned by Bangor Hydro Electric, the lake was used as a water storage basin for hydro electric power generation downstream. This created major water level changes and was not beneficial to the native fish in the lake. In 1985,the Schoodic Lake Association took advantage of the opportunity to own the dam and now controls water levels both to benefit property owners and provide for optimum fish spawning habitat. The Association monitors water quality and fishery health, and educates property owners in best practices in maintaining the lake in excellent condition.

Schoodic Lake is one of the best possible places to enjoy a quiet northwoods vacation. Little is going on here except solitude, neighborly visiting, campfires along the rocky shore, the songs of the birds and cries of loons, swimming in cold and clear waters and, of course, fishing. Come and visit this piece of the Maine Highlands and enjoy nature and water the way they were meant to be. A limited amount of real estate is available for the lucky buyer.

Things to do at Schoodic Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Schoodic Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Cusk
  • Lake Trout
  • Perch
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • White Perch
  • Whitefish

Schoodic Lake Photo Gallery

Schoodic Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Schoodic Lake Association

Surface Area: 7,021 acres

Shoreline Length: 32 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 423 feet

Average Depth: 79 feet

Maximum Depth: 186 feet

Water Volume: 505,377 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 13 years

Drainage Area: 35 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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