Projects > Survey of the York River
About 90 citizens, including schoolchildren, participated
in the river survey.
Much of the river was in very good condition.
The river has value as a commercial resource, too.
90 local citizens, including anglers, schoolchildren, educators,
town officials and business people, turned out to survey the
York River in June 2000, using a simple visual assessment methodology
developed by the Massachusetts Adopt-A-Stream program, similar
to the EPA's Stream Walk method.
report summarizes and categorizes their observations. The
detailed data could also be input into the Town of York's
GIS system to augment natural resource information available
through state and federal agencies.
report has several components:
Overall, the surveyors found the river to be in relatively good
condition; they described segments of the river as "pristine,"
encouraged land protection efforts and river access in several
areas, and provided lists of abundant wildlife, birds, and fishes
found in their segments.
of the River
Assets & Potential Problems
river is not without its problems, however; the surveyors
listed concerns with threats of development, erosion, water
quality and pipes, invasive plants, and abutting landowner
practices including yard care and dumping. The surveyors also
found several abandoned dams and culverts that may restrict
tidal flow and/or passage of anadromous fishes such as alewives
report summarizes the survey findings, but does not attempt
to make specific recommendations about what to do in each
case. The on-going work of the York Rivers Association has
already begun the process of investigating more detailed studies
of some of these subjects, making recommendations, and subsequently
working to restore or protect the river. In the future, the
York Rivers Association, state and town officials, community
non-profits, and others may wish to refer to this report as
a starting point for such action.
Yard waste may harm the river.
was listed as a problem
by several participants.
The segment of river above Cooks Bridge
is shallow, narrow and winds through a salt marsh bordered by pine
woods. At Birch Hill Road a new barn is visible from the river but
from that point to a farmyard a mile down Frost Hill Road there
is nothing to see but beautiful marsh grasses, some wildflowers
(asters and goldenrod) and the distant woods. The water is the color
of strong tea and there is no odor. The banks are mud and clay.
There were ditches which indicated that perhaps the marsh had been
harvested for salt hay some time ago. The erosion along the banks
seems to be a natural result of the river's tidal flow and because
of that the trees closest to the edge have fallen across the river.
Although this obstructed our way and thus impeded our destination
to the bridge on Frost Hill Road, it provided us with a perfect
place to picnic and made a good turning point. Closer to Birch Hill
Rd. on the north side of the river is a large field which looks
very green and perhaps could be under the influence of fertilizer
(don't know) and along its edge were apple trees, some oaks, and
a witch hazel. We also saw bayberry, and blueberries further upstream.
We embarked an hour before the high tide and cam back at full tide.
We estimated the height of the tide to be about 3-4 feet. The banks
do overhang the stream and we noted what looked to be animal holes
in some of the banks. The culverts at Cooks Bridge (two) were each
about 5 feet wide. They created a scour pool on the upstream side
with the incoming tide. We did not have much in the way of birding
-- only a redwing blackbird, a goldfinch, sparrow and a black duck.
The marsh is very beautiful in this area and is protected by the
very fact that it is a marsh and is wet. Access is difficult as
one has to cross a steep muddy bank and we were not certain that
it is allowed.
Carol Donnelly and Lynn Eaton
survey trip on the York River began at the York River fork and extended
up to Cooks Bridge. Because it was our first trip and there were
many twists in the river, I don't feel confident in the exact locations
I photographed. Our segment seemed quite pristine, but with evidence
of erosion prevalent along the south side of the river. There also
appeared to be three shack/duck blinds along the marsh also on the
left side. We saw very little evidence of trash other than what
appeared to be an old Christmas tree that had floated onto the marsh
grass. The water was brownish in color, but odorless. Two hours
past high tide, the river was more than three feet deep, but I have
no idea of the actual depth.
ditches were noted in the Cooks Bridge area. One was quite long,
about a foot wide and seemingly man-made. It appeared to cross the
whole marsh on the north side. Another ditch was noted near Rogers
Brook. It was considerably smaller in width. Wildlife such as cormorants
and great blue herons was active and visible in the part of the
segment nearer to Cooks Bridge. We observed cormorants catching
fish, but saw no activity of other birds, further downstream.
was a wonderful experience slowing down and observing our surroundings.
We have a real treasure in York, and I only wish that all of York's
citizens could adventure, by dinghy, through the marshes. Thank
you for affording us this wonderful opportunity.
Fred and Debbie Oberg
was muddy water for the full length of this segment -- possibly
the outcome of so much rain previously. Untouched, virgin land on
both sides of channel. Quiet. Fences on one part of marsh (indicated
on map) may have been pasture in the past? Rope swing on bank. Three
or four pieces of trash -- possible remains from tide.
Linda Gurtman, K. Chase
#4 - Scotland Bridge to Rice's Bridge (North Shore)
is an 8000 foot section of the York River beginning on the east
side of the river at Scotland Bridge and ending at the I-95 Bridge.
This section of the river encompasses much of the westerly drainage
shed of Boulter Pond, Middle Pond and Scituate Pond. There are small
streams and drainage swales leading from each of these water sources
to the York River.
terms of development, this segment of river can be classified as
moderate to light residential use with most of the development concentrated
in the upper portion of the segment. Lots sizes vary substantially
as do setbacks from the water's edge. Some developable land remains
along the river and along the principal road corridor, Cider Hill
Road (Rt. 91). All of the connecting road systems and adjacent residential
development drain into the river by one means or another. Nonresidential
activity is limited primarily to "home occupations" but does include
at least one substantial enterprise on Ferry Lane North. This activity,
which involves the dumping and staging of heavy construction materials
and equipment is not visible from the main river but can be seen
from Cider Hill Creek as this large tidal finger nears Rt. 91.
survey was conducted by kayak on Saturday June 10, 2000, between
the hours of 9 am and 11:30 am. High tide at the river's mouth was
6:44 am. Low water conditions inhibited the examination of Bass
Cove and Cider Hill Creek. It is recommended that Cider Hill Creek
be reviewed at some future date as having fish spawning potential.
segment extends from Scotland Bridge downstream to Dolly Gordon
Brook (just before I-95). The first half of this segment has a lot
of clearing and is lined with houses set back from the river. Most
of these houses have extensive lawns that are separated from the
salt marsh lining the river by shrubby borders. Salt marsh lines
the river and its tributaries.
are not sure whether Scotland Bridge creates a scour pool - the
bridges does constrict the river and there is quite an enlarged
area or pool downstream of it. The most extreme example of erosion
was observed along the bank on the northern, downstream side of
that pool (#6 on map). Here, at mid-tide, there was no observable
salt marsh border between the river and the forested embankment
and the bank was so eroded away that the tree roots hung down in
curtains. We did not know whether the bridge caused this erosion.
Some of the salt marsh bordering the river showed some erosion,
or undercutting, by the currents, but this seemed natural.
location #8 there were some artificially placed stones (rip-rap)
along the north bank of the river -- above which was a house. A
cement cylindrical structure sat above the stones; between the cement
structure and the stones there was a 4-inch diameter PVC pipe sticking
out of the hill. There was no obvious discharge from the pipe at
the time of the survey. There was also what could have been an artificial
ditch (#10) just upstream of this area, but it was overgrown with
shrubs and had no obvious discharge.
were many floating docks extending from the homes along this part
of the river. Along the banks of the salt marsh adjacent to these
docks we noticed a significant amount of rockweed that was not noticeable
along other parts of the river. We don't know whether this is related
to the presence of the docks -- perhaps they shelter the bank enough
in those areas to allow increased proliferation of these seaweeds?
We did not see this at every dock.
the south side, location #2, we found what could be a human-made
ditch cut through the salt marsh to the river. We could not see
over the bank to the house above, so don't know its origin. The
only phragmites we observed along this section of the river was
located above this ditch.
halfway along our route an unnamed brook forks from the river (see
#7 on map). There is very little clearing along this next segment
of the river, with few houses. This section is bounded by salt marsh
and forested upland; we could identify oak, white pine, other deciduous
trees and high bush blueberries. The river was busy with bird life
-- herring gulls sitting in the water near the mouths of the tributaries,
a kingfisher poised to dive on a dock, cormorants and great blue
heron flew away at our approach. Red wing blackbirds were busy along
the edges and yellow warblers called from the adjoining forests.
Killdeer and a spotted sandpiper searched the mudflats for food.
was a beautiful day. The river and its edges seemed relatively clean
and trash free -- let's hope it stays that way, or gets even better,
in the years to come.
Sue Pike, Andy Gagnon, Hunter Gagnon, Sam Pike
by York High School class; no description provided.
7 begins at the community dock of the Brickyard subdivision, a thickly
settled residential neighborhood, built on the open (unforested)
site once occupied by a brick manufactory. Immediately down river,
the York Golf & Tennis Club presents a buffer of pines which
gives way, so the River turns eastward to manicured grass. Algae
clings to the extent of this frontage. Beyond Sewall's Bridge, Lindsay
Road skirts the shore before turning inland. A stretch of houses,
fairly well spaced, abuts the Steedman Woods, heavily used conservation
land linked by pedestrian bridge and causeway to parking along Route
water was mostly clean, but I suspect it gets very silty after a
rainstorm. Lots of silt on the bottom. Lots of shells. Some minor
areas of shore erosion, but overall in great shape. No trash.
Steve and Cassie Burns
sights included a duck blind and wildlife including herons and kingfishers.
We saw two 18" pipes, neither of which had a discharge. These might
be road culverts? Just Upstream from Ramshead Point, wire cattle
fences go into the river. Several small creeks downstream of Ramshead
Point were very murky and showed signs of erosion. Near the tip
of Ramshead Point we found some potential phragmites.
Gordon and Ellie Moran, Cordie Southall, Larry Reilly
written description in addition to data sheets.
Tinker Newick, Dave Gittens, Carol Donnelly
section of the river bank extends approximately 3/4 mile upstream
and is generally well-maintained by lobster or fishermen's private
docks and residential private docks or grounds. There is some bank
erosion (see X on map) due to tidal currents, but not any apparent
serious degree of damage.
and Maggi Cullum
the exception of a few places where slash and yard waste have been
piled on the river bank, the river looks good here. All of Bragdon
Island (Pine Island and Big Pine Island) have a wooded character
which has not been disturbed much by building. The western edge
of the tidal flat and marsh area is wooded or has meadows with a
natural edge preserved except for #4A, B, C, D which has been recently
cleared. Hopefully this will be allowed to grow back naturally and
will not be converted to lawn. Out toward more open vistas of river.
There is more evidence of lawns coming directly down to river edge
(Photos 15, 16, 17) with natural edge vegetation largely removed.
The marshes are beautiful, no loosestrife or phragmites. Some variation
in marsh grass types: a thick, healthy taller grass with large patches
of thinner sparser grass. Would like to know if this thinner grass
type is good or a sign of trouble?
Stuart and Ellen Dawson
river was clean as expected, mixed bottom: sand, gravel, mud, rock.
Wonderfully clean water. We observe this segment daily and see a
wonderful variety of wildlife especially migration. The high tides
seem more intense lately. The dredged area -- now which wildlife
area fills at certain high tides.
Rob, Rice, and Ann Kendall
make observation easier I split up the observations in two parts.
One part is from the tip of Stage Neck to the Stage Neck dock. The
second part goes from the Stage Neck dock to the 103 bridge.
1 - This area is the mouth of the river and is very rocky. The water
has a strong current in the channel, which can make it hard for
small boats to go through. The general water quality is excellent,
the water is clear for up to about 8 feet and the only odor that
one can ever smell is the fresh smell of the ocean. The rocks along
the coast of the Stage Beck Inn look like they were placed by man
and no pipes could be seen jutting out. The sea floor in this area
is all rock and sand and is visible at low tide. The water problems
are the occasion gasoline on the water or foam that has feel from
the bottom of a rock. All and all this area is quiet clean and seems
to be doing quite well. Fish species: flounder, striped bass and
2 - This area of the river is much denser and has more boats because
it's the harbor. Along this harbor there are many docks which cause
gasoline spills and occasionally through in other trash. Also right
near the Stage Neck dock is a dam that allows fish to go through
but it is in very poor condition. If this dam were to fall down
it could possibly cause erosion. Up until the river paths there
are five docks that allow boats to be put into the water. There
is also one major boat entrance at the bottom of Varrel Lane. Along
the river path there are 8 pipes spread out into about 30 foot intervals.
The pipes are all made of iron and yes they do have algae growing
on them. The pipes in my opinion carry runoff water from the street,
which is very harmful to the water. Luckily there are no odors or
extra vegetation. At the 103 bridge there is a big scour pool which
is well built up because a stone wall prevents erosion. Same species.
One more not is that almost this whole area is surrounded with man
Charles and Henry Harding
#11 - Rte. 103 Bridge to Stage Neck
11 begins at the Route 103 bridge and flows seaward past large Victorian
cottages which overlook a harbor yet retaining remnants of colonial
wharves. These cottages sit atop a vegetated embankment. A popular
pedestrian walk, occasionally inundated at high tide, fronts the
river. Under this walk lies a sewer line. Abandoned private sewage
pipes traverse the mudflats, ending at or below the low waterline.
The embankment gives way to wharves used as residences and as dockage,
thence to a 19th century stone dam. The far end of the
dam abuts the Stage Neck, a rocky peninsula covered with condominiums
and a hotel which surveys both the open ocean and the Harbor Beach.
segment was absolutely pristine. There were no blockages, manmade
or natural along the piece. Tributary flows or squiggles through
lovely grasses. The woodland edge is probably 50-75 feet, one shore
to the other. Woodland is predominately oak (white and red), hemlock
Westy Lovejoy and Carol Donnelly
1 runs from the fork in the York River (a) to where it ceases to
be navigable at low tide (j). It is primarily banked with clay/mud
and marsh grass except where woodland comes down to the river (b,
c, d, f, g, h, i). In every case of wooded riverbank, large trees
appear to be ready to fall across the river due to erosion. The
overhanging trees have even been used to erect a rope swing (g)
for swimming. The entire section is remarkably pristine and rich
in wildlife -- we could only two irregularities. The first was a
rocky outcropping (submerged at high tide -- location e on the map)
and an area where the trees leading away from the riverbank had
been cut away (c) possibly to create a view for a home set back
from the river. On a final note, submerged timber is a constant
navigation hazard at low tide.
2 runs from the place where the river's representation on the map
changes from a channel (marked by parallel lines) to a single line
(j). At low tide, this place is easy to recognize due to a 50-foot
long swath of rocks and pebbles on the river bottom, which create
a tumbling rapids -- not navigable by canoe or kayak. Once above
these rapids, the brook continues looking much as it did before,
only there are fewer places with wooded riverbanks. There is one
place (k) where a house's lawn actually comes down to the river
and down river from that spot the river briefly winds close to farmland.
Cormorants, geese, and turtles are numerous in the marsh areas of
this section. There are many pallets, buoys and empty plastic antifreeze
bottles that appear to have floated onto the marsh from downstream.
At low tide, the clay and mud riverbank is frequently characterized
by oily residue. Section 3 runs from a place we chose due to a narrowing
of the brook as well as the increased presence of pollution to the
terminus of the brook at Route 91. Oil is not only evident on the
riverbank, but in the river itself. It appears to be from the culvert
at Route 91 but the oil is also present in the tiny runoffs, which
enter the brook every 50 to 100 feet. The wooded riverbank at location
(l) was littered with golf balls driven across the marsh from the
homes (m) located there. Many local residents have set up bird nesting
boxes on stilts, which appear to be popular with red-winged blackbirds.
The most disturbing site was at location (n). Along a 100 yard stretch
of river were tires and other garbage dumped from a property with
a paved road to the riverside. As these tires are deep in mud, extraction
would be most difficult. The section ends at a culvert where the
brook passes under Route 91. The bank and river bottom changes to
sand and gravel which is partially why this is such a popular spot
for netting fish at different times of the year.
G. Cameron Mereen and Julia S. Clough
Cove Creek goes under Route 91 (culvert) from Bass Cove and basically
uphill slightly (maybe 1 mile) to Dam and Boulter Ponds. Can't follow
all this as it is woodsy, etc. Water is very clean, clear, shallow
running over rocks with brush and trees on the sides. We can then
give description from Boulter Pond, which we did not walk around
and cannot canoe in, as it is Kittery Water pool. Boulter Pond is
surrounded by trees, brush and woods. Relatively clean water, light
brown color, no odor, saw one large turtle. There is a dam from
Boulter Pond to stream, which allows steady but light flow into
rocky stream -- shallow -- goes about 50 yards to cement bottom
which runs under dirt road through culverts -- cement bottom goes
about 10 feet on either side of road. Stream continues 50 yards
more, about 10 feet wide to cement blocked rip-rap with stone sides
held flat with chicken wire. Water appears at this time to flow
under these blocks about 200 yards and reemerges as small stream
with rocks and grass. This continues on to Route 91 and culvert
into Bass Cove. All water we could see is clear and clean. The Kittery
Water District treatment plan is at end of New Boston Road and just
beyond Boulter Pond. They keep an eye on stream cleanliness, etc.
We were unable to walk whole way. Above area is on New Boston Road
at end. At Route 91 - culvert into medium running water into pond
water slightly down hill. Culvert is about 5 feet high -- 4 feet
wide -- cement -- good condition. pond manmade with seawall 2 feet
high rock dam going across cove. pond about 50 ëx25'. From Route
91 (road) to water, steep brushy hill and not a good access to water
as indicated on map. All of Bass Cove (just about) is surrounded
by marsh grass banks to trees which surround cove. There are a couple
of areas marked on map with clay or mud banks and slight erosion
due to, I think, large shade trees above and absence of marsh grass.
Behind all trees are mostly fields leading to scattered homes. At
low tide there is only a trickle of water from the river through
Bass Cove. Right point at end of Cove facing river is a very nice
treed area with little brush and no buildings (likely not buildable).
On left side of outer corner is also a large treed area -- about
20 acres going all the way to Cider Hill Road (Route 91). Both of
these areas would be interesting for conservation easements. Water
for full length of cove is clean and odorless, but somewhat muddy
due to clay type bottom, can see down 2-4 feet and is fully tidal.
Cove is navigable by small boat for full length at least from and
to half tide but drains out completely at low tide with muddy clay
bottom. No fish observed but believe Bass do come into cove.
Jeanne and King Berlew
from the southwesterly end of the Route 1 Bridge, we followed the
southerly bank of the York River to the confluence of Dolly Gordon
Brook. Not noted on the map is a short (25-30 yard) streem course
just southeast of 95 embankment, which appears to provide drainage
for runoff through the forest above, possibly formed b road runoff
mouth of Dolly Gordon Brook has a salt marsh floodplain on either
side extendeing as much as 50 yards to a mixed hardwood treeline.
A house is being constructed on the south westerly point of the
mouth, but a tree buffer of 20 yards or so remains. The easterly
floodplain diminishes rapidly to a raised bank with a mixed hardwood
treeline. Several boat ramps have been constructed for access. The
floodplain on the southwesterly side diminishes at the bridge. Both
sides of the floodplain pen up after the bridge, becoming 200-300
yards wide in the vicinity of the old railway. Dolly Gordon Brook
branches south east in a floodplain/saltmarsh approximately 75 yards
wide. Libby Brook branches southwest in an even wider floodplain.,
A small island, approximately 25 yards across, occurs in the mids
of the stream course at the railway crossing. Though few animals
were observed, this area has a history of supporting most species
indigenous to the York River estuary system.
Jud Knox, Richard Myrick, Steve Palmer
were made from the bank. There has been some loss of trees and brush
in this area. There are residences in this section. The photo, which
shows some tree roots bared by erosion, was taken looking from #8
Kimball Farm Lane toward the York River, at high tide. At low tide,
there is only a narrow ribbon of water in the channel. The Neighbors
on the far side of the fallen tree put boats in from their property.
There is a grassy section between #8 and #6 which may be salt marsh
hay, but it doesn't grow very tall. It is mostly submerged at high
tide. Recently I saw deer tracks. We have seen moose along the creek,
but not for the past 1 1/2 years.
begins at bridge on Cider Hill Road near Winn's Auto Body. This
is an untouched area of salt marsh and upland mixed forest that
is part of a roughly 5 square mile unfragmented block of land. A
dump site was found in one section behind a residence along creek.
Tires, barrels, paint cans, etc. were found here. The rest of the
creek is quite pristine, some erosion but appears to be quite health
and vibrant all the way to Bog Road.
June 10 at 10:00 a.m. Doreen MacGillis and Helen Winebaum walked
a long section of Cider Hill Creek north of the Cider Hill Road
bridge. The walk was part of the river survey for Rivers and Trails
and the York Rivers Association. The day was clear, sunny, with
moderate temperature. Mid-tide - going out. We started the walk
after having asked the occupant of the house on the northeast side
of the Cider Hill Bridge for permission and easiest access as the
bank is steep going down to the marsh grasses and the creek. A young
lady pointed out the way, which was not a path but a place where
brush had been dumped. We descended to the flat and proceeded upstream.
There did not seem to be an enlargement of the streambed caused
by the flow of the creek through the bridge. The bridge does not
seem to be an impediment to flow. We were walking on the eastern
edge of Cider Hill Creek. We walked on the bank in the marsh grass.
Shortly after descending to the bank we saw some dumped material
on the wooded slope. This included several barrels and tires. We
did not feel that this was more than a farm refuse dump. There is
a broad field above the wooded bank. There is also a tote road that
we did not follow on this east wooded bank of the creek. The tote
road runs north between creek and the field on the upper wooded
bank. After small area of dump material, we did not encounter any
refuse of any kind. We saw several different kinds of marsh grass.
All looked exceedingly healthy. No signs of silt. Tide wrack extended
far in some places, showing the wide tidal variation. We saw several
river otter or muskrat holes in the bank. We often saw small schools
of fish in the generally clear water. We felt that the extent of
marsh that we saw was pristine, completely protected by the deeply
forested upland. No houses or sign of use of any kind. As we proceeded
north, the forested upland of the creek became deeper and in some
areas quite steep and with a mature forest. We decided to take the
east fork of the creek and crossed over it to be able to walk more
easily in the woods on bank. We noticed many trees marked, probably
for cutting. We followed the creek until the feeder stream became
fresh and we headed into the woods for Bog Road, coming out onto
an enormous farm field. We then returned on Bog Road.
Doreen MacGillis and Helen Winebaum
sides of the confluence with the York River are flood plain with
marsh grasses extending as much as 50 yards + to a mixed hardwood
treeline. Approximately 5000 yards in the easterly bank rises with
house lots of 1 acre plus lawns sloping to a treeline varying in
depth from single row to 100 yards deep or more. The westerly bank
in this section remains fairly flat, with the treeline getting closer
to the stream edge as the course extends northerly. Approximately
1/2 way to the bridge, one landowner has built a small dock on the
easterly side of the stream. From this point on the floodplain becomes
increasingly more restricted, ending at the abutments to the bridge
at Rt. 91. The stream becomes much more freshwater in character
on the northerly side of the bridge and the treeline becomes very
close to the stream edge. A pipe outfall, yard waste, etc. are noted
on the map.
Jud Knox, Richard Myrick, Steve Palmer
miles segment follows roadway. Non-eroded banks with maples, oaks,
etc. 90% deciduous, 10% pine -- tall under story, honeysuckle, Rosa
regosa, ferns -- seems non-moving. Brave Boat Harbor Road segment
is sunny, swampy, thicket-like with dead thriving deciduous shrubs
and trees. Width of 70 feet, very slow movement. Mid section --
sun and shade; less dense but still man live and dead trees and
1 _ feet grasses -- width 40'. Seabury Road segment -- river narrows
to 8 feet, becoming rapid and clear of vegetation.
Anne Bryer and Rob Kanzer
1 was what we could observe from road going over brook on Birch
Hill Road. We spoke to Richard Gove, 130 Birch Hill Road, an abutter,
who told us most of the information reported here. The stretch from
the road to the river mainstem is brackish. There is a broken dam
above which is fresh water. He had fixed the dam with the Town's
blessing, but vandals (kids) have destroyed it. He thinks the dam
should be fixed so that the resulting pond could be used as a water
source in case of fire. The stream dries up in summer. He told us
this area is home to moose, deer, coyote, fox, turkeys, and gulls.
There is an alewife run. The area is surrounded by rural homes and
farms. Could not walk because of poison ivy -- lots of vegetation.
Surrounding little opportunity for public recreation. would be nice
to be labeled/identified. We observed iris, lots of poison ivy,
2 - road over brook at Beech Ridge. Iris, some marsh grass. Little
water, lots of opportunity for trash to be thrown from passing cars.
Carol and Milt Davis
Cape Neddick River rises in Chases Pond from whence it meanders
more or less easterly until it joins the ocean between Weare Point
and Cape Neddick.
tidal portion of the river runs north from the falls just below
Route 1 for 1/8 of a mile and thence easterly for 1/2 mile emptying
into Cape Neddick Harbor.
bottom is a mixture of sand and mud with some areas of such consistency
that its suction can demolish sandal straps. History in the form
of long-abandoned schooners, gristmills and wharves are in evidence.
The water varies from 1/8 mile wide and 10' depth at high tide to
a knee-high rivulet but 20' across at low.
first half mile to the Clark Road bridge I arbitrarily divide into
three parts: Shore Road to the RR trestle; thence to the neck and
from the neck to the Clark Road Bridge.
Road to RR Trestle:
from the harbor under the Shore Road bridge/dam the river is funneled
to 90'. To the north is some 300 yards of wetlands about to River
Rd. The south shore is built up but arms of the marsh reach inland
about an equal distance. Note that the Cape Neddick River has no
public access and boat launching is done from the property of the
restaurant immediately south of the bridge.
Trestle to the Neck:
river narrows at the neck, the site of an old gristmill, from 300'
to 80'. Evidence of piers is obvious on the north bank. Both sides
of the river are built up.
to the Clark Rd. Bridge:
The river opens after the neck to hear 1/16 mile. About 100
yard downstream of the bridge on the north bank there is a corrugated
metal culvert about 18' round. There is no evidence to the untrained
eye of scouring and the discharge appears to be rain runoff.
Clark St. Bridge funnels the river to 20'. About 100 yards upstream
is a cement spillway that ushers a brook under River Rd. No scouring
evident to the untrained eye.
100 more yards, the river turns sharply to the west for 1/8 mile
where it runs into falls. This ends the salt-water portion.
I have caught striped bass, pollock, and mackerel in the river usually
two hours before high tide. Brown trout are reputed to be in the
river. This year we had a substantial herring run, followed by more
numerous runs of what I think were tomcod. The fish were fry size.
Because of the tidal situation we do not have what I consider to
be a permanent fish population.
to Segment-by-Segment Observances