The Sheepscot River watershed reaches 58 miles from Montville to Boothbay, and is about 360 square miles including Sheepscot Bay. The watershed includes over 40 lakes and ponds and portions of 22 towns in 4 counties. The Sheepscot River includes a highly productive five mile-long estuary from Head Tide in Alna to Wiscasset. The river then flows another twenty some miles through Sheepscot Bay to the larger Gulf of Maine.
Under Maine state law, the Sheepscot River is designated as an Outstanding River Segment. The Sheepscot is also one of eight Maine rivers that provide essential fish habitat for the federally endangered native Atlantic salmon. Numerous other fish, including striped bass, shortnose sturgeon, American shad, and alewife, also spawn in the river and return to the Gulf of Maine. Brook trout thrive in the river, as do sticklebacks, perch, shiners, and others.
Fish and invertebrates attract osprey, eagles and other mammals that feast on the river’s abundance. The river’s tidal mud flats support rare oysters, marine invertebrates and rare plant species, and its forested banks provide habitat for moose, white-tailed deer, and many smaller riparian mammals.
Although much of the Sheepscot River has the state’s highest water quality rating, buffering conditions are fragile and the watershed faces a variety of threats. These include high nutrient loadings, sediment from eroding banks, elevated temperatures, and relatively low levels of dissolved oxygen. Furthermore, land use and development patterns within the watershed are changing, inviting increased water quality problems associated with roads and other impervious surfaces. Threats to water quality in the Sheepscot watershed require special attention to land use practices, road maintenance, pollution sources, and future planning. Preservation of the abundant resources and beauty of the watershed require coordinated efforts and lasting stewardship.
Please join us!
For more information please contact