Pembroke Watershed Association
P O Box 522, Pembroke, Ma 02359
"Mission Statement" To educate the public and to restore the pondsof Pembroke for clean and safe recreational use
Oldham Pond is a 235 acre natural pond located in the towns of Pembroke and Hanson. Oldham
Pond receives water from a small tributary, cranberry bogs and wetland areas and serves as the
headwaters of Herring Brook; its outflow drains into Furnace Pond which is located immediately to the
south. The pond’s 2.8 miles of shoreline are heavily developed with houses and a summer camp. The
pond has three wooded islands, the largest of which is known as Monument Island, and numerous rocky
shoals. Except for the islands and rocky shoal areas, much of the pond is fairly uniform in depth with an
average depth of 10 feet and a maximum depth of 15 feet. Aquatic vegetation, primarily submerged
aquatics, is abundant. The bottom is predominantly mud except for the rocky shoal areas. Oldham Pond
is an unstratified warmwater pond.
Boat access to Oldham Pond is provided by a town of Pembroke ramp located next to the town
beach off Wampatuck Street, which is located to the north of Route 14 (Matakeesett Street) and Furnace
Pond. The ramp is suitable only for small trailered boats, cartop boats and canoes. Oldham Pond is a
natural Great Pond and under the Colonial Ordinances of 1641-1647 which allows anglers to pass over
unimproved land on foot to gain access to the pond. Motorboaters are cautioned about numerous
shoal areas which are not marked on the depth map.
Oldham Pond was first surveyed on July 12, 1912 and reported red (yellow) perch, hornpout,
pickerel, and eels; and noted “many boys from Rockland YMCA Camp were boating and swimming”
and ”Great many mussels in pond”. Prior to 1946, Oldham Pond was stocked with smallmouth bass,
bullhead, white perch, yellow perch and chain pickerel. In 1937, a northeast section of the pond was
closed to fishing for five years as a bass breeding area. Although once primarily a smallmouth bass
pond, by the 1940s both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were present. A 1946 survey reported
alewife, white sucker, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel and banded killifish. A 1951 fish thinning
operation removed 550 pounds of bluegill, suckers, eels and turtles; also caught and released were
largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, brown bullhead and golden shiner. In the
1950’s brush shelters were placed in the pond. A kill of freshwater mussels and fish occurred in August
of 1999 due to oxygen depletion in the lower layers of the pond. Smaller fish kills in spring and summer
due to disease outbreaks or oxygen depletion have also been reported since 1995.
Oldham Pond was last surveyed on August 23, 1994 and contained 13 fish species: Largemouth bass,
pumpkinseed, alewife, yellow perch, bluegill, white perch, white sucker, banded killifish, brown
bullhead, golden shiner, black crappie and American eel.
Oldham Pond should offer good fishing for largemouth bass and panfish. Oldham Pond serves as a
spawning area for alewife that run up Herring Brook from the North River. The young-of-year alewives
provide good forage for predators such as bass and pickerel. Boaters are cautioned about unmarked
rocky shoal areas that are scattered throughout the pond. The pond has a heavy summer recreational use
for swimming and boating by campers and town residents.