COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz dedicated a completed and refurbished Knox Lake dam in Knox County. The $4.6 million project rehabilitated the structural integrity of the dam, which was originally built in 1954.
Improvements to the Knox Lake dam include stabilization and resurfacing of the spillway, installation of new gates to control lake levels, riprap to prevent erosion, and smoothing out the back side of the dam for easier walking and mowing accessibility. The south boat ramp was also upgraded to provide better access for boaters.
“Repairing the Knox Lake dam ensures this popular reservoir will safely provide fishing and other outdoor-related recreation for decades to come,” said Director Mertz. “Thanks to everyone who worked to complete this important construction project so people could get back on the lake again.”
Dam construction was completed in June 2021. This project was funded through the Ohio Boater Angler Fund and Sport Fish Restoration Act, an excise tax on fishing equipment administered through the Division of Wildlife and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It was also funded from a portion of the motorboat fuel tax received by the Division of Wildlife.
Knox Lake is located about 1½ miles northeast of Fredericktown and can be accessed via State Route 95. The marina and main boat ramp are on the lower section of the reservoir along Armentrout Road. A second boat ramp can be accessed from Old Mansfield Road on the north side of the reservoir.
The lake is 476 acres and has 10.9 miles of shoreline. It was created by damming the Kokosing River and was built primarily for fishing and wildlife-associated recreation. Knox Lake is known for its good fishing. It is a trophy largemouth bass fishery with a high abundance of fish 15 inches or longer. Boats with motors larger than 9.9 horsepower are restricted to idle-only speeds.
The maximum depth is more than 24 feet near the dam, although much of the water is 12 feet or less. The upper section of the reservoir was purposely left full of standing timber to provide natural cover to enhance fishing. In the lower basin, trees have been felled along the shoreline to provide additional cover. Visitors to Knox Lake could see ospreys, wood ducks, and enjoy birding.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
Editor's Note: High-resolution photos can be found here.