Location & Description
This scenic 2,265-acre wildlife area lies 8 miles south of Lisbon and 3 miles northeast of Salineville in southern Columbiana County. It can be reached by State Route 164 from Lisbon and by State Route 39 from Salineville and Wellsville. The terrain is steeply rolling, with some flat hilltops and valley floors. Elevations vary from 1,060 to 1,340 feet above sea level. Highlandtown Lake, 170 acres in size, is on the upper headwaters of Little Yellow Creek. Second growth hardwoods and conifers which cover most of the area are interspersed with brushy coverts, former cropfields, and some meadow and grain crops.
History & Purpose
Purchase of land for this wildlife area began in 1956. Additional land was acquired as funds became available, until the area reached its present size. Highlandtown Lake was completed in 1966. Fish management work included stocking the lake as needed and annual fishing surveys to monitor the biological development of the lake and its management needs. Considerable lake bottom habitat improvement work was done prior to impoundment of the lake. Game management activities include planting of shrubs and conifers, protection and improvement of existing woodland, selection of areas which will be allowed to return to woodland through natural succession, and management of existing open fields based upon land capability. Crop rotations and contour strip cropping patterns have been developed to improve food and cover conditions for wildlife.
Highlandtown Lake (170 acres) received its initial stocking of muskellunge, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegills in 1967. This lake is now stocked in alternate years with channel catfish. Yellow perch, white crappies, black crappies, and brown bullheads are also present. Cottontail rabbits and squirrels - both fox and gray - are the principal game species. Ruffed grouse, wild turkey, deer, woodchucks, and most of the furbearers are common. Woodcock and waterfowl frequent the area.
There are many good squirrel woods on the area. The best rabbit hunting is in the brushy uplands along field edges and borders. Woodcock hunting is productive. Brushy areas, cutover timber stands, pines, and wooded areas produce some good grouse, wild turkey, and deer hunting. Raccoon hunting and trapping are good throughout the area. Waterfowl hunting is productive on the lake and on the man-made and beaver ponds. Public hunting is also available on 404 acres of Yellow Creek State Forest, situated in two tracts on the west and north sides of the wildlife area. Fishing at Highlandtown Lake is excellent for bluegills and for bass less than 15 inches (15-inch minimum length limit). Fishing for crappies and yellow perch is also good. Several ponds supplement the largemouth bass and bluegill fishing opportunity available in the lake. Boating is allowed in Highlandtown Lake (10HP). Visitors will find many unusual plants. A high point of land north of State Route 39 off Township Road 776 provides an excellent panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding area.