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Classifying Lakes

Lakes can be classified based on their ability to support plant and animal life.

Important Notice: This website was created by the Sanford Lake Improvement Board to provide information regarding various management activities on the lake. With the failure of the Sanford Lake dam in May of 2020, the lake was lost. Since that time, the Sanford Lake Improvement Board has become temporarily inactive. However, this website is being maintained for informational purposes. To find out more about the status of the lake, visit the Four Lakes Task Force website.

Oligotrophic lakes are generally deep and clear with little aquatic plant growth. These lakes maintain sufficient dissolved oxygen in the cool, deep bottom waters during late summer to support cold-water fish such as trout and whitefish.

Lakes that fall between the two extremes of oligotrophic and eutrophic are called mesotrophic lakes.

Eutrophic lakes have poor clarity and support abundant aquatic plant growth. In deep eutrophic lakes, the cool bottom waters usually contain little or no dissolved oxygen. Therefore, these lakes can only support warm-water fish such as bass and pike.

Click here to review the 2019 Sanford Lake water quality report.