Kokosing Lake Wildlife Space presents a number of out of doors alternatives | Outside

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

FREDERICKTOWN – The Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area is located in Knox County, 1.5 miles northwest of Fredericktown and 5 miles northeast of Chesterville.

The area can be reached by driving two miles northwest of Fredericktown on Waterford Road (CR 6). It is part of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ North Branch of Kokosing Lake flood protection project. Approximately 1,113 acres are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Division of Wildlife, including a 160-acre lake. Limited camping and picnic facilities are offered by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The dam and camping and picnic facilities are in the southwest corner of the area north of County Road 6. At the southern end of the lake is a five-acre island. A 1.5 acre pond lies in the northeast corner of the area along with four acres of swamp.

At the southern end of the lake, east of the North Branch Kokosing River, is a large patch of woodland that consists mainly of pineiche and hickory. Several small streams flow into the area from the north and west.

History & purpose

The Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area was established in 1971 by the US Army Corps of Engineers for flood protection and recreation. The land has been used for public hunting since July 1969 in collaboration 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 by developing crop rotations and field sizes to provide food and cover for highland species.

Wildlife habitat has been improved through the planting of grasses, legumes and foraging areas, spot mowing to maintain nest cover in open land, felling of trees in existing fences and forest boundaries to improve the habitat of bushland and the protection of existing forests.

Wildlife

The main game species are fox squirrels, cottontail rabbits, woodchucks, bobwhite quails and ring-necked pheasants. Waterfowl are abundant during the migration, and a wide variety of songbirds and shorebirds visit the area. Rabbits and pheasants are found north of the lake and are most common in open grass fields, rows of fences and field dividers.

Raccoons, possums, muskrats, minks, weasels, skunks, and foxes live in areas near the North Branch Kokosing River and several small creeks. Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and bullhead are the most important game fish in the lake.

The headwaters of Kokosing Lake are good for suckers, perch, and rock bass during spring spawning runs.

Freetime activities

The main game species are fox squirrels, cottontail rabbits, woodchucks, bobwhite quails and ring-necked pheasants. Waterfowl are abundant during the migration, and a wide variety of songbirds and shorebirds visit the area. Rabbits and pheasants are found north of the lake and are most common in open grass fields, rows of fences and field dividers.

Hunting along forest edges, stream banks, and swamp areas is also productive, especially for rabbits. The North Branch Kokosing River and several small streams provide fishing opportunities for raccoons, possums, muskrats, minks, weasels, skunks, and foxes.

Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and bullhead are the most important game fish in the lake. The headwaters of Kokosing Lake are good for suckers, perch, and rock bass during spring spawning runs.

Boat fishermen are only limited to electric motors or gasoline-powered motors that are six horsepower or less.

There are two gravel paths that give wheelchair users access to the wilderness area. The lane enables the user to get in touch with wildlife communities in the open field, bushland and forest for hunting or wildlife viewing.

Public facilities are provided and managed by the US Corps of Engineers on the west side of the lake. These include camping and picnic areas, latrines, a fountain, and a boat ramp.

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