The Marchbanks Pond Committee has been formed under the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association (BBEMA) to help make improvements to Marchbanks Pond, Wilmot River, Prince Edward Island.
Marchbanks Pond is a 10-acre wetland on the Wilmot River near Wilmot Valley, Prince County, PEI. It was created in the 1800s as a power source for a grist and/or sawmill. Since the 1800’s Marchbanks Pond has been a historical landmark and popular fishing spot in central PEI; traditionally, this pond has provided a wonderful angling opportunity for Islanders alike. The natural open shorelines of this pond make it a great location for families, beginners, and avid anglers.
In 2021 the Marchbanks Family and BBEMA partnered to work with an environmental contractor to undertake (Phase 1) of this site restoration, maintaining the structural integrity of the original 100 yr. old earth dyke through a structural rebuild and upgrading of the end of the dam that will allow for better fish passage via improved overflow through the spillway. Thank you to all our supporters whose donations through this fundraiser allowed us to complete Phase 1 of this important restoration project.
We are currently launching a fundraiser for Phase 2 of Marchbanks Pond Restoration with a goal of raising $7500.00
Historically the mouth of the spillway has incorporated the use of sandstone boulder/slabs to help stabilize water levels within the pond by slowing drainage. Over time the sandstone has eroded, resulting in increased water flow through the mouth of this spillway. Currently, the water level in the pond during July/August (low season) is 18-24 inches lower than it should be due primarily to the eroding sandstone bedrock at the mouth of the spillway. These yearly low water levels in the pond have resulted in excessive aquatic vegetation growth within the pond. This excessive vegetation is currently hindering access to recreational uses (angling/boating) as well as impacting fish habitat health.
BBEMA is looking to increase the water level in the pond (1 to 1.5 feet) through the placement of granite boulders (R500) across the mouth of the spillway to maintain more habitat for fish production, as well as selective excavation of excessive vegetation along the pond edge. Deepening the pond edge will reduce light penetration and discourage overabundant vegetation regrowth. Removal of the vegetative barrier will also allow for better fishing opportunities, including the creation of wheelchair-accessible fishing along the newly reconstructed dam.
We are excited by the progress we have made already in conserving this important pond site. Ongoing restoration of the Marchbanks pond will boost fishing opportunities for all local residents. Maintaining the opportunity to go out and engage in the sport of fishing close to home, regardless of whether they live in the middle of a large city or in a small, rural community.