The Pierce Pond watershed's fishery and wildlife
Notable Fish Species
Pierce Pond has small inlets entering from surrounding ponds and hillsides. Its outlet, Pierce Pond stream, leaves the south end and flows east into the Kennebec River. Water quality is excellent for cold-water game fish.
Native Brook Trout
Common Name: Brook Trout
Other Names: Eastern brook trout, speckled trout, squaretail
Scientific Name: Salvelinus fontinalis
Adult Size: 10 to 26 in, and weights vary from 0.7 to 7.0 lbs.
Identification: This species is green to brown in basic colour, with a distinctive marbled pattern (called vermiculations) of lighter shades across the flanks and back and extending at least to the dorsal fin, and often to the tail. A distinctive sprinkling of red dots, surrounded by blue haloes, occur along the flanks. The belly and lower fins are reddish in color, the latter with white leading edges. Often, the belly, particularly of the males, becomes very red or orange when the fish are spawning.
Common Name: Landlocked Atlantic Salmon
Other Names: Sebago Salmon, Quananiche
Scientific Name: Salmo salar
Adult Size: Average size is 16-18 inches and 1-1 1/2 pounds, but 3-5 pound fish are not uncommon.
Identification: Adults are generally silvery with a slightly forked tail and small X-shaped markings on the back and upper sides. Juvenile salmon have a dark red spot between each pair of parr marks. Mature males develop a "kype", or hooked jaw, during the spawning season. Landlocked salmon are a freshwater form of the sea-run Atlantic salmon.
Common Name: Moose (North America)
Other Names: Eurasian elk (Europe)
Scientific Name: Alces alces
The moose is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic ("twig-like") configuration. Moose typically inhabit boreal and mixed deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere in temperate to subarctic climates. Moose used to have a much wider range but hunting and other human activities greatly reduced it over the years. Their diet consists of both terrestrial and aquatic vegetation. The most common moose predators are wolves, bears, and humans. Unlike most other deer species, moose are solitary animals and do not form herds. Although generally slow-moving and sedentary, moose can become aggressive and move surprisingly quickly if angered or startled. Their mating season in the autumn can lead to spectacular fights between males competing for the right to mate with a particular female.
Common Name: Common Loon (North America)
Other Names: The Great Northern Diver (Eurasia)
Scientific Name: Gavia immer
This species, like all divers, is a specialist fish-eater, catching its prey underwater, diving as deep as 200 feet (60 m). Freshwater diets consist of pike, perch, sunfish, trout, and bass; salt-water diets consist of rock fish, flounder, sea trout, and herring.
The bird needs a long distance to gain momentum for take-off, and is ungainly on landing. Its clumsiness on land is due to the legs being positioned at the rear of the body: this is ideal for diving but not well-suited for walking. When the birds land on water, they skim along on their bellies to slow down, rather than on their feet, as these are set too far back. The loon swims gracefully on the surface, dives as well as any flying bird, and flies competently for hundreds of kilometers in migration. It flies with its neck outstretched, usually calling a particular tremolo that can be used to identify a flying loon. Its flying speed is about 120 km/h (75 mph) during migration. Its call has been alternately called "haunting," "beautiful," "thrilling," "mystical", and "enchanting."