Location & Description
This 1,912-acre northeastern Ohio area is in Tuscarawas County. State Route 93, running north-south, forms the east boundary, and U.S. 250 is at the north end of the area. The area lies on the edge of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau region of Ohio. Elevations vary from 948 feet to 1,200 feet above sea level. Much of the wildlife area is permanently or seasonally flooded.
History & Purpose
Purchase of 1,537 acres of land was completed in the late 1930s by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District; completion of the dam created a permanent reservoir of approximately 420 acres. The Division of Wildlife purchased an additional 375 acres on the southwest end of the area in the late 1960s. The entire area is open to public outdoor recreation. The primary purpose of the area is flood control, with fishing, hunting, and trapping as recreational benefits.
Saugeyes are stocked annually in this lake. The lake, creeks, and marshes support good populations of bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, carp, bullhead, and northern pike. Wood duck, Canada goose, cottontail rabbit, pheasant, muskrat, and raccoon are the principal game and furbearer species. Deer, fox squirrel, woodcock, and most of Ohio’s other furbearer species are common. Beaver are present and have created excellent habitat for many mammals, birds, fish, frogs, and turtles. A great variety of nesting and migrant birds can be found throughout the varied habitats of the area as well.
The diverse mixture of habitat types provides a rich variety of both game and nongame species. Waterfowl hunting is very popular at this area. The most common species taken are wood duck, mallard, and Canada goose. Upland game species are well distributed throughout the area because of the uniform distribution of crop fields, shrubby coverts, meadows, and woods. Furbearers provide many hours of opportunity for trappers and hunters. Saugeye fishing is good both in the lake, and below the dam. The best largemouth bass fishing is in spring and early summer. Northern pike can be caught in the creeks in the spring. Bluegills and crappies can be caught throughout the area, year-round, including, when conditions permit, through the ice. Boating is allowed on the lake, however, due to the effects of sedimentation, boating is limited to 10 HP and a public boat launch ramp no longer is available.