Lakes & Ponds


The Wetlands protection Act defines an inland pond as follows:
  • "Any open body of fresh water with a surface area observed or recorded within the last ten years of at least 10,000 square feet. Ponds may be either naturally occurring or man-made by impoundment, excavation, or otherwise. Ponds shall contain standing water except for periods of extended drought." (10.04 (69))
Some facts to remember about ponds under the Massachusetts Wetlands
  1. Protection Act and the local wetlands by-law: A pond can either be naturally occurring or artificially created.
  2. The definition of ponds includes excavated ponds as well as impoundments.
  3. Some ponds under 10,000 square feet may be regulated as Isolated Land Subject to Flooding or Vernal Pools
  4. The Conservation Commission may accept or use field evidence to determine the extent of flooding (such as aerial photographs, water marks, reliable reports) in order to determine if the pond is 10,000 square feet.


The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act defines lake as follows:
  • "Any open body of fresh water with a surface area of at least ten acres." (10.04)