Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is the second largest body of fresh water in Acadia National Park with a surface area of 437 acres. The surface of the lake is 274 feet (83.5 meters) above sea level.  It has a maximum depth of  112 feet (34 meters) and an average depth of 43 feet (13 meters). Eagle Lake is an oligotrophic body of water, that is, it has a low level of vegetation and high levels of dissolved oxygen, which supports a large number of fish. The turbidity of this lake is low, that is, the water is very clear. The fish in Eagle Lake include Salmon, Brook Trout, Rainbow smelt, Minnows, White Sucker, Hornpout (Brown Bullhead Catfish), Banded Killifish, Threespine Stickleback, Pumpkinseed Sunfish and American Eel. Eagle Lake is the source of potable water for the Town of Bar Harbor. Swimming or wading in Eagle Lake is forbidden.

The photograph above is Eagle Lake seen from the north end near the State Route 233 Eagle Lake parking area. To the left is a part of Cadillac Mountain and in the center is Pemetic Mountain. The next photograph was taken further east and shows, from left to right, Pemetic Mountain, the South Bubble and the North Bubble. The South Bubble is farther away than North Bubble and its summit is about the same distance from the camera position as the summit of Pemetic Mountain.

Eagle Lake with Pemetic Mountain and The Bubbles

The water in Eagle Lake comes from runoff, springs, Bubble Pond Brook and wetlands around The Bubbles. The outlet is Duck Brook that runs from Eagle Lake to the shore of Frenchman Bay next to the Sonogee healthcare facility on Eden Street in Bar Harbor.

The next photograph shows the carriage road intersection nearest the Eagle Lake parking area on Eagle Lake Road (State Route 233). Carriage roads completely encircle Eagle Lake.

Carriage Road at Eagle Lake

The north end of Eagle Lake is seen in the next photograph, which was taken from the Park Loop Road. If you closely examine this picture, you should be able to locate the brick structure that contains the plumbing to supply Bar Harbor with water. This system is gravity fed.

Eagle Lake From Park Loop Road

The following photograph shows the southern end of Eagle Lake. Note the low-powered motor boat that is likely in use for fishing.

Boat in Eagle Lake

The following photograph shows a large number of Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) in the shallows of Eagle Lake. They are a light gray to olive color with dark vertical bands on their sides. The insert bordered in red, shows a close up of a Banded Killifish. Note the vertical dark bands that number about 20 on this specimen. Also note that the body of the Killifish is narrowed before the tail section. This narrowing helps distinguish the Banded Killifish from similar killifish species. The number of bands can vary from 12 to over two dozen. Adult Banded Killifish are typically less than 5 inches (13 centimeters) long. There are over 1,000 species in the Killifish family (Cyprinodontidae) but only 48 wild species in North America. Unlike the Banded Killifish, many killifish are very colorful and raised as aquarium specimens. The Banded Killifish is somewhat drab and are usually not good aquarium specimens. However, these fish eat mosquito larvae and serve as food for larger fish in Eagle Lake. Removal of fish from Eagle Lake requires a state fishing license and is subject to restrictions provided with the license.

Fish in Eagle Lake

The next photograph is a picture of a wetland north of Eagle Lake on the other side of the highway. There are several examples of these wetlands or ponds on Mount Desert Island that are separated from a major body of water by a road usually to the north. The amount of vegetation in these wetlands or ponds is greater than that in the major body of water.

Wetlands North of Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is easily accessed off State Route 233 near Bar Harbor. The Eagle Lake Parking Area is on the north side of the highway. A boat ramp and parking area is on the south side of the highway. One can also hike or bike along carriage roads to Eagle Lake. Everyone visiting Acadia National Park should spend some time at Eagle Lake because it is one of the most beautiful lakes in New England.

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