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Wassataquoik Stream


Photo: Ecologists wearing mosquito protection and surveying a vegetation transect at Wassataquoik Stream Ecoreserve

Vital Statistics

  • Size: 775 acres
  • Regulated: 164 acres
  • Non-Regulated: 611 acres
  • Upland: 326 acres
  • Forested Wetland (NWI): 380 acres
  • Non-Forested Wetland: 11 acres
  • Open Water: 60 acres
  • Roads: unimproved-1 mile
  • Biophysical Region: Central Mountains/Aroostook Highlands
  • BPL Region: North
Map showing location of Wassataquoi Ecoreserve

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Exemplary Natural Communities

Scientific Name Common Name State Rank Global Rank
Appalachian - Acadian Rivershore Ecosystem Appalachian - Acadian Rivershore Ecosystem SU GNR
Spruce - Fir - Wood-sorrel - Feather-moss Forest Montane Spruce - Fir Forest S4 G3G5
Beech - Birch - Maple Forest Northern Hardwoods Forest S4 G3G5
Silver Maple Floodplain Forest Silver Maple Floodplain Forest S3 GNR
Hardwood River Terrace Forest Upper Floodplain Hardwood Forest S3 GNR
Photo: Ecologists surveying a vegetation transect at Wassataquoik Stream Ecoreserve

Rare Plants

There are no documented occurrences of rare plants within this Ecoreserve.

Rare Animals

There are no documented occurrences of rare animals within this Ecoreserve. For more information on rare animals in Maine, visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.


The Wassataquoik Stream ecological reserve lies at the confluence of Wassataquoik Stream and the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The central features are stream bank and river floodplain forests. The steep wooded slopes of Wassataquoik Stream give way it its mouth to a broad floodplain, and the vegetational gradients reflect the effects of topography, hydrology and soils.

Photo: Ecologists wearing mosquito protection and surveying a vegetation transect at Wassataquoik Stream Ecoreserve

The mixed forests along Wassataquoik Stream rise 15 - 35 meters above the streambed. Both sides of the stream contain scattered older trees, mostly white pine, among a multi-aged mix of hardwood and softwood. On the north bank, large superstory white pine (over 19 m tall and over 90 cm dbh) emerge over the canopy of hemlock, spruce, pine, and poplar. The south bank lacks these superstory pines but has some large hemlock, sugar maple, popular and spruce, with some trees over 100 years old. The stumps and traces of logging roads throughout this area are evidence of its past logging history.

The floodplain of the East Brach, on either side of the Wassataquoik's mouth, is a fine example of a relatively undisturbed hardwood floodplain forest. It is large, over a mile in length, and displays excellent gradations from the river's edge to the uplands back up towards Hunt Mountain. At the lower elevations near the stream, impressive silver maple (some over 120 cm dbh) form an arching canopy over a carpet of tall ferns and other herbs. Large fallen trees have left canopy gaps, with green ash, young silver maple, and elm regenerating. As one moves away from the river, the gradual change in elevation leads to replacement of the silver maple by sugar maple, and a change in the herb flora composition as well. It is unusual to find terrace floodplain forests like this as intact as seen here.