Windows on the River: East Branch
Windows on the River: West Branch
The Penobscot River Basin drains 8,680 +/- square miles in northeastern Maine. The main stem of the river flows for 105 miles from the confluence of its East and West Branches in Medway, south to its mouth in Penobscot Bay.
Approximately 95% of the basin is forested and with a sparse population. Once a bountiful source of alewives, shad and salmon, it has lost many to dams, pollution and over fishing. The effects have been felt as far away as the Gulf of Maine.
Major communities in the basin include Millinocket, Howland, Lincoln, Old Town, Orono, Veazie, Bangor, and Brewer.
Drainage of the Penobscot, Maine’s longest river wholly within the state, and its tributaries, in square miles, are as follows:
East Branch Penobscot River: 1,150
West Branch Penobscot River: 2,140
Mattawamkeag River: 1,520
Piscataquis River: 1,470
Penobscot River: 2,400
The East Branch of the Penobscot originates in East Branch Pond, above Grand Lake Matagamon, passing east of Baxter State Park in T6 R8 WELS, T3 R7 WELS, Soldiertown Township (in Penobscot County), Grindstone Township, and Medway.
The West Branch originates in Seboomook Lake, the confluence of the North and South Branches of the Penobscot, in northern Piscataquis and Somerset Counties.
It passes through Seboomook Township, Northeast Carry Township, T2 R10 WELS, T3 R11 WELS (Ripogenus Dam and Gorge; Telos Road), T4 Indian Purchase Township (North Twin Lake),T3 R10 (Nesowadnehunk Stream and Abol Bridge) Millinocket and East Millinocket (Dolby Pond), before joining the East Branch to form the main stem of the Penobscot River at Medway.
Maine. Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Maine River Basin Report. “Penobscot River Basin.” Augusta, Me. 2007. http://www.maine.gov/dacf/flood/docs/maineriverbasin/maineriverbasinreport_chap3.pdf (accessed August 15, 2014)
Maine. Department of Environmental Protection. “Biomonitoring Retrospective of the Penobscot River.” Augusta, Me. 1999. http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/monitoring/biomonitoring/retro/Penobscot3.PDF (accessed August 15, 2014)
NOAA. “North Atlantis Region: Penobscot River Watershed.” 2014. (accessed August 17, 2014)
Windows on the Penobscot River