Discover the Deepest Lake in Maine

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: August 1, 2023
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Key Points

  • The depth of Maine’s deepest lake slightly exceeds the length of a football field.
  • It is a measurement that, however, pales in comparison to the nation’s deepest inland body of water which is 1,627 feet deeper.
  • Both lakes are nowhere near the Atlantic which is approximately 27,500 feet deep.

Maine is dotted with coldwater lakes throughout the state. Some are popular recreational lakes, while others provide the peaceful seclusion of being in the middle of nature. Sometimes the biggest lakes are also the deepest, but other times it is smaller lakes that have the greatest depths. Deep lakes can be formed by glaciers, volcanos, and earthquakes. But how deep can these lakes be? Let’s discover the deepest lake in Maine!

What is the Deepest Lake in Maine?

The deepest lake in Maine is Sebago Lake. While it is the deepest, it is the second largest at 45 square miles. Sebago Lake is located in the southern tip of Maine, just 20 miles NW of Portland, ME. Sebago is a popular recreational lake for boating, sailing, water sports, and fishing.

How Deep is the Deepest Lake in Maine?

The deepest lake in Maine is 316 feet deep. That is just a tad longer than a football field. Sebago Lake State Park has a boat ramp if you want to head out and explore the lake. They also have a campground with lakeside campsites. Your depth finder may not register at 316 feet, but it will alert you to some prime deep-water trout fishing on Sebago.

The fishing in Sebago Lake is excellent, with lake trout being king.

Where Is Sebago Lake Located on a Map?

Sebago Lake is located to the northwest of Portland on Maine’s coast approximately 30 miles away. The city is known for its vibrant food culture and food festivals. Sebago Lake is even further from the state capital, Augusta, which can be found to its northeast at a distance of approximately 70 miles and is known for the Viles Arboretum.

What Kinds of Fish are in Sebago Lake?

Sebago Lake in Maine New England

Sebago Lake is the second-largest and also the deepest lake in Maine and offers a huge variety of activities from fishing and camping to float-plane rides and mini-golf

©iStock.com/Angela Fouquette

The fishing in Sebago Lake is excellent, with lake trout being king. Still, there are also largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, brook trout, and perch. You can fish from shore or take your boat to find some of the best fishing holes around the inlets and coves.

Bears, beavers, and moose also call their environs home.

Have any Record Breaking Fish been Caught on Sebago Lake?

Yes! There are two state fishing records pulled from Sebago Lake. In 1907, Edward Blakely caught a 22-pound, 8-ounce Landlocked Salmon on Sebago Lake. The record holds to this day. The other Sebago Lake record is also an oldie dating back to 1958. Neil Sullivan has the record for the largest Whitefish ever caught in Maine with a record-breaking 7 pounds 8 ounces.

How Big was the Biggest Fish ever caught in Maine?

The biggest freshwater fish ever caught in Maine was a Muskellunge (Muskie) that weighed in at 33 pounds! Onezime Dufour caught the record breaker back on May 15, 2010. He wasn’t fishing on Sebago Lake but reeled in this beauty on the St. John River.

How does the Deepest Lake in Maine Compare to the Deepest Lake in the US?

The deepest lake in Maine is 316 feet deep. The deepest lake in the US is 1,943 feet deep! That’s a difference of 1,627 feet! The deepest lake in the US is Crater Lake in southern Oregon. Crater Lake was formed from a collapsed volcano and is visited by more than half a million visitors each year. One of the most exciting facts about Crater Lake is that no rivers, streams, or tributaries flow into the lake. All of the water comes from natural rains or snow melt. That is what gives it its natural blue coloring.

How Deep is the Atlantic Ocean?

The Atlantic Ocean is 27,493 feet deep at its deepest point. That is not off the coast of Maine but quite a bit further south, just north of Puerto Rico. Can you imagine 27,000 feet below the surface of the sea? That is more than 5 miles straight down! It is estimated that more than 80% of the ocean has never been explored. Crazy to think about what we have been missing out on. Sharks, for example, only dive to a depth of 10,000 feet. The remaining 17,000 feet have never been visited by sharks. What can survive that deep in the ocean? Similar to space exploration, deep ocean exploration leaves room for the imagination.

Do all the Lakes in Maine Freeze Over in Winter?

Most of the lakes in Maine will freeze over in winter, especially in the northern half. That makes it prime ice fishing conditions. However, due to climate change, some lakes are not entirely freezing over or have portions of open water year-round. The deepest lake in Maine, Lake Sebago, used to freeze over 80% of the time, but recently it has been closer to 50% of the time. Lake Champlain, which is on the New York/Vermont border near Maine, used to freeze over 2/3rd of the time, but now it is closer to 1/3rd of the time. This is evidence of the effects of climate change.

What is the Deepest Lake in the World?

The Yenisei River basin includes Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world

©Valerii_M/Shutterstock.com

The deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal in Russia. This massive lake is almost bottomless at 5,314 feet deep. Lake Baikal contains 1/5th of the earth’s freshwater. It is 395 miles long, about the distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The average width of the lake is 30 miles, which is the average. While the lake’s conditions are frigid most of the year, several species of fish thrive in the lake. Omul Salmon, whitefish, grayling, and sturgeon can all be found in the lake. One of the mammals you will find on Baikal Lake is the unique Baikal seal. The Baikal seal is special because it is the only pinniped that lives in freshwater, and they only live on Baikal Lake. Seals are known to be deep divers, and Baikals, locally called nerpas, can dive 100m to find food (that is 328 feet). That is comparable to the depths of the deepest lake in Maine at 316 feet. However, there are not any seals that live on Sebago Lake.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Angela Fouquette


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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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Sources
  1. WBUR, Available here: https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/10/08/frozen-lake-ice-study-recreational-impacts
  2. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/place/Lake-Baikal
  3. Fishing North East, Available here: https://fishingnortheast.net/choose-your-state/maine/maine-fresh-and-saltwater-record-fish/