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Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area

Location & Description

The Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area is in Knox County, 1.5 miles northwest of Fredericktown and five miles northeast of Chesterville. The area can be reached by traveling two miles northwest of Fredericktown on Waterford Road (CR 6). It is part of the North Branch of Kokosing Lake flood control project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Approximately 1,113-acres are managed by the Division of Wildlife for fish and wildlife, including a 160-acre lake. Limited camping and picnicking are provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam and the camping and picnic facilities are in the southwest corner of the area north of County Road 6. There is a five-acre island in the south end of the lake. A 1.5-acre pond lies in the northeast corner of the area along with four acres of marsh. A large woodlot consisting mainly of pin oak and hickory is located on the south end of the lake, east of the North Branch Kokosing River. Several small streams flow into the area from the north and west.

History & Purpose

The Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and recreation in 1971. The land has been used for public hunting since July 1969, by cooperative agreement with the Corps of Engineers. In March 1974, 1,088 acres were licensed to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, for fish and wildlife purposes. The area is managed for wildlife through development of crop rotations and field sizes to provide food and cover for upland species. Wildlife habitat has been enhanced by planting grasses, legumes, and food plots, spot mowing to maintain openland nesting cover, cutting trees in existing fencerows and woodlot borders to improve brushland habitat, and protecting existing woodlands.

Wildlife

The major game species are fox squirrel, cottontail rabbit, woodchuck, bobwhite quail, and ring-necked pheasant. Waterfowl are abundant during migration, and a variety of songbirds and shorebirds frequent the area. Rabbits and pheasants are found north of the lake and are most abundant in open grass fields, fencerows, and field dividers. Areas near the North Branch Kokosing River and several small streams are home to raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, weasel, skunk, and fox. Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, and bullhead are the primary game fish in the lake. The headwaters of Kokosing Lake are good for suckers, smallmouth bass, and rock bass during the spring spawning runs.

Recreational Opportunities

The major game species are fox squirrel, cottontail rabbit, woodchuck, bobwhite quail, and ring-necked pheasant. Waterfowl are abundant during migration, and a variety of songbirds and shorebirds frequent the area. Rabbits and pheasants are found north of the lake and are most abundant in open grass fields, fencerows, and field dividers. Hunting along woodlot borders, stream banks, and marsh areas is also productive, particularly for rabbits. The North Branch Kokosing River and several small streams provide trapping opportunities for raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, weasel, skunk, and fox. Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, and bullhead are the primary game fish in the lake. The headwaters of Kokosing Lake are good for suckers, smallmouth bass, and rock bass during the spring spawning runs. Boat fishermen are restricted to electric motors only, or gasoline powered motors of six hp or less. There are two gravel travel lanes that can provide wheelchair access into the wildlife area. The lane allows the user to come in contact with open field, brushland, and woodland wildlife communities for hunting or wildlife observation. Public use facilities are provided and managed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, on the west side of the lake. They include camping and picnic grounds, latrines, a well, and a boat launching ramp.

Emergencies

Call: 911

Phone Number

(614) 644-3925

Non-Emergency

#ODNR

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