Fate of old Branch Lake boat launch debated

The boat launch on Mill Pond at the southern end of Branch Lake has seen some use even during the winter. Now that a new boat launch has opened on the western side of the lake, city officials are talking about what to do with the Mill Pond launch.

ELLSWORTH — With the opening of a new public boat launch on Branch Lake this year, what will become of the old one?

That was a question the City Council considered Monday night, as a request was made to close the older launch area to any boat use.

The older launch is located at the far southern end of Branch Lake on what is known as Mill Pond. The new launch was built last year on state-owned land on the western shore of the lake, near an area known as The Narrows.

John Wedin, who serves as the Branch Lake watershed steward, said the city’s Water Department would like to see all boats launched from the new launch.

“The recommendation is to use the old one as a swimming beach, and for that only,” Wedin said.

Asked later to clarify if the proposal was to ban all types of boats at the old launch, Wedin said it was.

“The Water Department is asking to block the [Mill Pond] boat launch and close it to all boating,” he said.

The new launch site will feature an inspection station, where a boat monitor will check watercraft for invasive aquatic plant species such as Eurasian milfoil.

Wedin said putting all boats in at the new launch would ensure better quality control.

The proposal drew a response from Council Chairman Gary Fortier.

“Personally, I think that’s going a bit too far,” he said.

Councilors will revisit the issue next month.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

Latest posts by Steve Fuller (see all)