Do You Live, Work, and Play Near Santuit Pond?
Do you live, work, or play near Santuit Pond?
Local water bodies are a great way to bring communities together, and Santuit Pond is no different. Residents and visitors experience, enjoy, and appreciate this natural water resource through recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and walking.
Unfortunately, excessive levels of nutrients like phosphorus can cause water quality hazards like the development of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms. Some cyanobacteria blooms produce cyanotoxins which result in a number of health risks to people and animals who touch, eat, drink, or breathe them in. These blooms also make it so the pond is rarely safe for swimming. But there are steps visitors can take to enjoy Santuit Pond while reducing the risk for themselves and the local ecosystem.
Santuit Pond is a quiet, shallow, 176-acre pond that residents enjoy using for summer recreation through kayaking, canoeing, boating, and paddling.
Though low-speed, human-powered activities like kayaking and canoeing have minimal impact on the health of the pond, high-speed activities such as motor boating can make algal blooms worse or more frequent. This is because phosphorus is mostly found in the fine sediments at the bottom of Santuit Pond, and higher-powered boats create currents that mix phosphorus-rich sediment into the overlying water.
To prevent this, the Town of Mashpee is considering restrictions on the size of boat motors to reduce the amount of sediment mixed into the water and to reduce the overall impact of phosphorus on the aquatic ecosystem and surrounding life.
As one of the most fertile ponds in Cape Cod, Santuit Pond offers a number of fishing opportunities for locals to catch largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, and more.
Santuit Pond is the headwaters of the Santuit River which flows to Popponesset Bay. Brook trout, alewives, American eel and river herring make their way to the pond by swimming upstream and using the fish ladder that was rebuilt in 2013.
As a welcome to the new herring population, each spring, the annual Herring Run Program brings the community together to celebrate the river herring and establish thresholds for sustainable harvest. The annual run of herring also ushers in the Wampanoag New Year. The herring are revered by the Wampanoag as a versatile food source, as a traditional fertilizer for gardens, or as a prized bait fish.
Please consult with local resources and regulations before going fishing in Santuit Pond.
The Santuit Pond Preserve offers 3.0 miles of quiet walking trails for visitors to enjoy. Among these trails sit swaths of protected habitat for fish and wildlife conservation. Visitors can explore pine-oak forest, beech-holly forest, maple swamps, vernal pools, and wet meadows. The Preserve is also home to rare species, such as the Eastern box turtle, spotted turtle, spotted salamander, and the worm-eating warbler.
Though Santuit Pond has been open to swimming in the past, it remains under advisory due to the presence of cyanobacteria. As a result, the water is deemed to be unsafe for people and pets. When advisories are in place, do not swim or ingest the water. Pets must be kept away, and any contact with the water should be rinsed off. Please look for advisory and other warning signs when visiting Santuit Pond.