Sebasticook Lake, Maine, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - New England - Maine - Maine Highlands -

The fertile waters of Sebasticook Lake have drawn people to its shores since prehistoric times. This Maine Highlands lake is the site of one of the oldest dated fishing weirs, a series of stakes used by ancient fishermen to herd fish into a cluster for easy capture. The stakes, discovered in 1992, are estimated to date back 5.800 years. The Fish Weir display, representing the town of Newport’s Native American heritage, is open to the public at the Newport Cultural Center. Today, anglers resort to different fishing methods, but the draw is still the same. Anglers flock to the lake to pit themselves against the “big one.”

Historically known as Great East Pond, Sebasticook Lake is located in central Maine, conveniently located near I-95. The lake is full of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, white perch and yellow perch. Black crappie were inadvertently introduced into the lake, and their population has increased providing an unexpected opportunity for anglers. In the winter, ice huts pop up on the lake for ice fishing.

Sebasticook Lake covers parts of Penobscot County and to a lesser extent Somerset County. Surrounded by the town of Newport, it is the largest lake entirely within an individual municipality in the state of Maine. Sebasticook Lake is part of what drew settlers to the area, and Newport was established in June of 1814. By the late 1800’s the lake’s popularity as a recreation destination was growing, and the 1880’s saw an impressive fleet of sailboats gliding across the lake. Boaters still seek out the lake and with 4,537 acres of water, there is more than enough room to swim, canoe, boat and water ski. A public boat ramp on the southern end provides access to the lake.

Human impact on Sebasticook Lake took its toll, however, and by 1960 the lake was classified as excessively nutrient rich (hypereutrophic). A concerted effort was made by government agencies and citizen groups to eliminate contaminants, and the water quality gradually improved. In the mid 1980’s the town of Newport built a dam at the outlet of Sebasticook Lake so water levels could be lowered. Every year in September water levels are drawn down to flush the phosphorus from the lake. As a result, water quality improved by 2000, and it continues to improve today. The Sebasticook River, which makes up the lake’s primary inflow and outflow, is also cleaner than it has been in over 100 years. The Sebasticook River Watershed Association works to protect both the river and the lake.

Lakeside campgrounds, cabins and vacation rentals are all available around Sebasticook Lake. There is residential development on the shoreline as well as real estate available for sale in Newport and nearby Dexter and Corinna. Any amenities a visitor might need including restaurants, shops and convenience stores are all easily accessible from the lake. The area receives a significant amount of snowfall every year, and trails for snowmobiling, skiing and dog sledding are all nearby.

Sebasticook Lake is a year-round Maine Highlands destination. The effort made to protect and preserve the lake ensures it will be a fantastic getaway for years to come. Its fish-filled waters are sure to call to future generations of anglers.

Things to do at Sebasticook Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding

Fish species found at Sebasticook Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • White Perch
  • Yellow Perch

Sebasticook Lake Photo Gallery

Sebasticook Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Town of Newport

Surface Area: 4,288 acres

Shoreline Length: 28 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 200 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Maximum Depth: 50 feet

Water Volume: 89,666 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 9 months

Drainage Area: 126 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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