Spednic Lake

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Summary

Spednic Lake is located north of Vanceboro, Maine. Land Elevation ranges from 120 - 180m. The surrounding are contains lakes and islands surrounded by poorly drained rocky soil. This geological feature supports a rich diversity of trees and plants, including tolerant and intolerant hardwood, and a good mix of softwoods (white pine, cedar, and old growth hemlock). The Canadian side of the lake is part of the St. Croix Canadian Heritage River.

Spednic Lake is one of the largest lakes in Maine and one of only four lakes over 15,000 acres in the state that remain largely undeveloped. The absence of development to date has supported one of Maine's last remaining native landlocked salmon fisheries and some of the best smallmouth bass habitat in the United States. Its many islands, fjord-like coves and rising, forested shores offer a stunning setting for fishermen, canoeists and naturalists who ply its sparkling waters to a silence broken only by the lap of waves and the call of the loon. Native landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass and other prized fish draw many repeat visitors to local sporting camps that take pride in their outdoor heritage, including the guides' continued use of traditional, handcrafted Grand Lake canoes. More than 32 million people live within a day's drive of its shores and each year visitors from across North America and abroad travel its waters. Careful management and the form of protection offered by this project will ensure that this semi-remote wilderness area will remain undeveloped and unspoiled forever.

The upper St. Croix River is one of the most undeveloped major river corridors in the northeastern United States, offering some of the region's premiere backcountry canoeing waters. Paddled by nearly 5,000 people each year, the St. Croix's winding course and near-wilderness setting keep the river uncongested and parties well-separated. It is a favorite of families, outdoor camps and others who wish to combine paddling, wildlife viewing and, for many, overnight camping. The most popular trip is the 20-mile section from Vanceboro to Loon Bay. With its mix of slow and fast water (class I-II) is ideally suited for canoeists of all skill levels.

Spednic Lake and the upper St. Croix give haven to a unique concentration of fragile and valued natural resources, including rare flora and fauna, old growth tree stands and an array of migratory birds. The waterway is prime breeding ground for the state's bald eagle population and a recovering run of atlantic salmon. Moose, deer, black bear, otter, beaver, loons, herons and waterfowl all share its shores and waters. Rare and uncommon plants grow in niche habitats along the banks. Special protection is given to some of these by an ecological reserve on 11 river islands and a newly created 100 square mile Protected Area on the New Brunswick side of the lake.

Archeological sites bear witness to over 3,000 years of human history along Spednic Lake and the St. Croix River. Traditional portage routes and campsites are still in use today. The St. Croix's productive forests, rich fisheries and water highway sustained early native people and supported later settlers who built the communities and resource-based economy that remain the area's mainstay.

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