Is it Branch Pond or Branch Lake?

The answer is “Yes!" Either name works. Here’s what’s going on…

Science doesn't make a strong distinction between a lake and a pond. Popular definitions are usually along the following lines: If the water is deep enough that light does not penetrate to the bottom, and photosynthesis is limited to the top layer, the body of water is considered a lake. A pond is a body of water shallow enough to support rooted plants. To be a pond, though, is that everywhere in the pond -- no bare spots on the bottom? There are more factors than depth that are necessary to support rooted plants. We certainly have rooted plants growing on the bottom albeit not out in the middle where it is deep.


The oldest references around Ellsworth seem to favor mention of "Branch Pond."  It turns out, though, that Maine has another "Branch Pond" in Palermo, Maine, southeast of Waterville. At some point the State of Maine and US Geological Survey started to use "Branch Lake" in their references and publications as the official name for our body of water and use "Branch Pond" for the smaller "Branch" to the south. Regardless, you can still take Branch Pond Road to get to the shores of Branch Lake...

Even more recently, the Association engaged with the government to clean up some paperwork including registering our non-profit status. We discovered that "Branch Pond Association" was already taken for official purposes (by those other guys). So, officially the Association is registered as the Branch Lake Association, Incorporated, but we also "do business as" (dba) the Branch Pond Association.

Bottom Line: Take your Pick! Go to our CafePress merchandise shop and buy it the way you want. Both Branch Lake and Branch Pond work around Ellsworth.

To see how the state talks about lakes versus ponds, check out this page: