Washington County, Maine
3,000 Acres for Water Sports
Home to: Landlocked Salmon
AND a Few Fortunate People
Ranked 3rd in Clarity Among Maine Lakes
Cathance Shores Property: A Source of Information on Cathance Lake V4
Getting to Cathance Lake
Cathance Lake is located in approximately the center of Washington County in Downeast Maine in Cooper, Maine. Easily accessed commercial centers are Calais (23 miles), Machias (21 miles) and Eastport (33 miles). From your first visit you will be impressed by the contrast of Washington County with the highly populated counties, cities and lakes in southern Maine.
Cathance Lake can be reached from the Bangor International Airport via Rt. 9 in approximately 2 hours (Bangor 92 miles). The drive from Boston (338 miles) will take approximately 6.5 hours. Bar Harbor (94 miles) and Acadia National Park are approximately a 1.5 hour drive via Rt.1. Portland is 222 miles from Cooper.
From Cathance Lake, a variety of recreational opportunities exist. There is access to numerous ATV and snowmobile trails including the Downeast Sunrise Trail. Boats can be trailered, about 20 miles, to access the ocean either on the Passamaquaddy Bay (Robinston, Eastport), Cobscook Bay (Pembrook) or Machias Bay (Machias). Ocean excursions for whale watching are available out of Eastport, Lubeck or Cutler. The numerous lakes in Washington County offer a variety of fishing options. Similarly the extensive forested areas offer a variety of hunting opportunities including Moose, deer, bear, grouse, etc.
Canadian Excursions offer unique experiences such as drives to St. Andrews by the Sea, Roosevelt Campobello International Park or Prince Edward Island.
Link to Downeast Trail Website
Cathance Lake is located along Rt 191 between Machias and Calais. The state maintains a boat launch facility (5) on Rt. 191 on the western shore. The earliest developments were along Rt 191 and subsequently in the East Ridge area. These areas have approximately 100 homes. With these exceptions, the majority of the shoreline of the lake had been undeveloped. Only recently two areas were developed, providing new shoreline lots including the Birch Point area (3) and the Cathance Shores Subdivision on the south shore.
The horseshoe shape of the lake is created by a large penisula (termed Hog's Neck, (labeled 1) which is in permanent conservency. The lake is feed by a large watershed of undeveloped forest north, east and west of the lake. Meddybemps lake is north east of Cathance. Cathance exits into Cathance Stream in the south(2). The stream meanders and ultimately exits into the Ocean at Dennysville. The Atlantic Salmon Commission has the land along the exiting stream which abuts State of Maine Forest lands south of the lake.
The Cathance Lake Association is active in the community, providing information and monitoring the quality of the lake.
The quality of the water is monitored annually. The test site (4) is over one of the areas of the lake that is 100 ft in depth. The quality has been consistent for many years and in August, the surface water temperature is 72 F. while the temperature at 65 ft is 55 F. Secchi Disk Transparency is typically about 9 meters. Unlike many lakes in southern Maine, no invasive species of water plants have been detected.
Cathance Shores Subdivison
In 2004 Cathance Shores LLC was formed by James N. Ihle and William and Ann Gies to purchase and develop 1,000 acres with 4 miles of shore line on the south shore of Cathance Lake. In 2006 the Land Use Regulatory Commission approved the formation of a subdivision on 90 acres with 21 lakeshore lots and 10 off lake lots. Of the 3.5 miles of shoreline to be developed approximately half was placed in conservation. The east is bounded by Atlantic Salmon Commission and State of Maine Forest lands.
Of the 21 lake shore lots, 5 are currently available and Of the 10 off lake lots, 7 are currently available.
In 2015 the Cathance Shores Property Owners' Assocation (CSPOA) was formed and deeded the roads and common use areas of the subdivision. The CSPOA is responsible for the maintenance of common use areas and the roads, including snow removal.
The LLC (dissolved in 2019) also owned the regions indicated as R1 (25 acres on an island) and R2 (10 acres of shoreline on Smith Cove). R1 is currently available and is listed by First Choice Real Estate for $250,000.
Homes on Cathance Lake
The first homes/camps on the lake were built in the early 1900s. The majority of these have been in families for generations which accounts for the fact that of the over 100 homes, few are available at any one time. The options for homes are to buy an old camp and rennovate, or remove and rebuild. Recently homes have been built on the newly available lots. There are distinctions since the older lots are small and closely spaced while the newly available lots are larger providing more privacy. An important additional distinction is that the older homes can be very near or on the shoreline while all new buildings must be 100 ft off the shoreline.
The lake water quality is evaluated 2-3 times a year, supported by the lake association. The most recent test results are shown and were obtained by Richard Offinger and James Ihle August 8. The measurements were made over the "deep hole" where the lmeasurements are always made. The water clarity was measured with a SECCH Scope (6" tube, slant glass and mask).The clarity was 9.53 meters or 31.37 feet. The results are virtually identical to those obtained in previous years at the same site, day and time. The surface temperature is almost 80F and the thermocline is clearly evident at about 30 feet of depth. At 82 feet the termperature is about 50F. The oxygen levels are a bit higher than earlier in the year presumably due to the very windy first part of the summer. Nevertheless the curve is virtually identical to previous years. Overall the lake is well oxygenated.
Making Cathance Lake Further Unique
Among Washington County Lakes
An interest has been expressed to develop an "Inn on Cathance Lake" that would provide a lake community center. An Inn with a resturant and bar would be the center piece and rental units would be available.
One option involves building an Inn on Cathance Lake on the Island (R1) owned by James Ihle. A docking facility in Smith Cove would provide convenient water access to the facility. As shown, the R1 parcel is an "island" due to the fact that the only connection with land is a wetland. The 25 acres of R1 is level and dry and well suited for building. To provide easy access to the island, a deeded road access exists that connects from the roads of Cathance Shores Subdivision. The distance over water between the access point on the land and the access point on the island is approximately 150 ft. The type of structrue that would be allowed to "bridge" the water has not been fully explored.
The island would also be an excellent property for a unique family compound. One could envision a "family lodge" in the center of the island and Chalets on the east (sunrise) side of the island or on the west (sunset) side of the island. With 25 acres there is plenty of space to roam the woods and shoreline. Interested individuals should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. I am anxious to discuss any collaborative projects, sale of the island with associated funding options etc.