The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft operates and maintains the recreational facilities located on the east side of the reservoir. A large beach, bathhouse, vacation cottages, marina, campground, parking areas, picnic areas, shelter houses, sanitary facilities, and boat ramp are located on the east side of the lake. The marina has a concession stand, restrooms, and outboard motor gasoline. Picnic areas, parking and sanitary facilities, and a nature center on the southwest side are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
There are no boat horsepower restrictions on C.J. Brown Reservoir.
Check for water quality advisories: https://publicapps.odh.ohio.gov/beachguardpublic/
C.J. Brown Reservoir is located at Buck Creek State Park, 2 miles northeast of Springfield, approximately 1 mile east of State Route 4 on Croft Road, and approximately 3 miles north of U.S. Route 40 on Bird Road and Buck Creek Lane.
Clarence J. Brown Reservoir is a flood control and recreation reservoir with 1,970 surface acres and 14.15 miles of shoreline. The reservoir is in the Great Miami River watershed; it impounds Buck Creek and drains an area of 82 square miles. Construction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was begun in September 1966 and completed in fall 1973. The gates were closed on January 2, 1974, and the lake was filled to approximately 1,000 acres by spring. The lake was held at this level throughout the summer to permit construction of a beach, and to allow channel construction and building of islands in the north end. The lake was filled to seasonal pool in spring 1975. The lake was lowered in fall 1979 to build a marina and place 16 piling groups for fish habitat structure.
The earthen dam is 6,600 feet long and 72 feet high at the highest point. An open-cut spillway allows the release of excess water to prevent flow over the dam. The maximum water depth is 50 feet at the dam. The control tower on the upstream side of the dam has inlets at the bottom which allow the water to pass through a conduit under the dam.
The eastern shore slopes more gently than the western shore, which drops off rapidly to 30 feet. The upper end of the reservoir, north of the Buck Creek Lane crossing, is very shallow. Standing trees in some of the coves along the western shoreline provide most of the fish cover in the lake.
Clarence J. Brown Reservoir located at Buck Creek State Park continues to be a premiere inland walleye destination. The abundance of gizzard shad allows for incredibly fast growth of sportfish and most of the lake is open water habitat, with very few bays or coves. Walleye grow to 15 inches in 1.5 years and exceed 20 inches in 2.5 years. Catching a walleye over 10 pounds is possible, especially in fall through early spring. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have good populations and sizes within the lake, while crappie populations are not strong in size or number, they may be found throughout the lake. Bluegill sunfish grow well at C.J., along with several other sunfish species like longear and green sunfish. Muskellunge have recently been added to the stocking list for C.J. Brown, with early results suggesting great survival and growth. On a windy day, the lake can be quite a challenge with few places to shelter from wind and wave…but the main boat ramp and the marina are both well protected from the weather and offer great places to launch or store your boat.