Photo of West Hill Pond in 2022.

West Hill Pond, New Hartford - 2022

2022 survey map of West Hill Pond

Survey Report

West Hill Pond is a 245-acre waterbody located in New Hartford, CT. It is historically among Connecticut’s least eutrophic bodies of freshwater. West Hill Pond provides wildlife habitat as well as recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, and boating. The pond is home to two Boy Scout Camps, a state boat launch ramp, and numerous well maintained shoreline homes. It has a maximum depth of approximately 60 feet and an average depth of 32 feet. 

In 2022, West Hill Pond had a diverse aquatic plant community with 21 native species and no invasive species. This compares to 16 native and one invasive (curlyleaf pondweed) species found in 2005 and 18 native species in 2012 (no invasive). Curlyleaf pondweed grows rapidly in the spring and dies off each summer. Thus, it is often not found in summer surveys. If surveyed in the spring, curlyleaf pondweed could still be present. West Hill Pond has a narrow littoral zone along the shoreline and two small shallow areas in the center. In 2022, aquatic vegetation occurred sporadically and in low abundance in the littoral zone. Large areas of rocky substrate, nutrient poor water, and deep areas likely limit plant growth. Floating leaf species observed in 2022 include large-leaf pondweed, ribbon-leaf pondweed, watershield, white water lily, and yellow water lily. Plants occurring in the shallows include arrowhead, bur-reed, pickerelweed, quillwort, spikerush, and waterwort. In deeper water Dortmann’s cardinalflower, eelgrass, mudmat, Robbin’s pondweed, slender naiad, slender watermilfoil, small pondweed, snailseed pondweed, and western waterweed were present. An advanced plant-like alga called charophyte, or stonewort, was common in deeper water up to 20 feet deep.

Species found for the first time in 2022 include bur-reed, mudmat, primrose-willow, and watershield. Mudmat is considered by some to be a nonnative invasive species, however it is not recognized officially as such in Connecticut. It often formed dense mats less than one inch tall and comingled with native Dortmann’s cardinal-flower. Because of its extremely low growth habit, mudmat is unlikely to become a nuisance and may prevent the establishment of other nuisance plants. Cattail is a native nonaquatic plant species that CAES IAPP sometimes includes in surveys. We documented it in 2022 and Frink and Norvell recorded it in 1982. Nonaquatic species such as cattail are not included in the data analysis. Cattail was likely present in 2005 and 2012 CAES IAPP surveys but not documented.

Species recorded in the 2022 survey of West Hill Pond.
Scientific Names
*Invasive Species

Arrowhead Bur-reed Cattail Dortmann's cardinalflower 
Eelgrass Floating bladderwort* Large-leaf pondweed Mudmat
Primrose-willow Quillwort Ribbon-leaf pondweed Robbins' pondweed
 Rush Slender watermilfoil Slender naiad Small pondweed 
 Snailseed pondweed Spikerush Watershield Waterwort
 Western waterweed White water lily Yellow water lily   

Other West Hill Pond Surveys: 2012, 2005