Location & Description
This 684-acre wildlife area lies between State Route 325 and State Route 554 approximately five miles northeast of Rio Grande. From State Route 325 access to the area is gained by T.R. 21 (Eagle Road). From State Route 554 access is provided off Township Road 20 (Vaughn Road) and County Road 17 (Tycoon Road). The topography surrounding the 204-acre Tycoon Lake is gently rolling to hilly. Approximately 54 percent of the uplands are wooded, mainly with oak-hickory types. Brushlands occupy 13 percent, openland 23 percent, wetlands 5 percent, and public use areas 5 percent of the uplands. The lake is relatively shallow. Aquatic vegetation and inundated shrubs and trees provide excellent cover for aquatic life. Shorelines are gently sloping and are composed of silt loam soils.
History & Purpose
Land acquisition for the area began in 1957 and was completed in 1960. Construction of two earthen dams across an old channel of Raccoon Creek was completed in 1960 and fish were first stocked in 1961. The area was purchased to provide fishing, upland game, forest game, and limited waterfowl hunting. Management work has included the improvement of existing woodlands, selective release cutting of brushlands, farming through cooperative management contracts with local farmers, and the addition of squirrel and wood duck nesting structures.
The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, and crappies. The principal game species are cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, and deer, with lesser numbers of grouse and fox squirrel. Various species of waterfowl stop to rest on the lake during migration. Wood ducks are year-round residents. A variety of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians also occur on the area in association with the diverse mixture of habitat types.
The most productive areas for rabbits are along the shrubby borders of grasslands and croplands. Squirrel hunting is good throughout the oak woodlands. Grouse may be found in the brushlands, which consist mainly of hawthorn and wild crabapple. Waterfowl hunting is limited to the lake, a 25-acre wetland, and the adjacent Raccoon Creek. The lake provides excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bluegills, and redear sunfish. It is a clear, fertile body of water with an abundance of cover, in which fish grow fast. Other fish present include channel catfish, crappies, brown bullheads, and yellow bullheads. Boaters on the lake may use electric motors only. A concrete boat ramp is located off Tycoon Road. Adjacent to the boat ramp is a handicapped accessible fishing pier.