LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The LaDue Public Hunting Area totals 8,791 acres situated primarily in southern Geauga County centered around the intersections of US Route 422 and State Route 44. Many separate parcels form a mosaic of property stretching from the East Branch Reservoir south and into northern Portage County. Much of this property lies along the Cuyahoga River and surrounds the 1,475-acre Wendell R. LaDue Reservoir.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
This area is owned by the city of Akron and is under the authority of its Water Supply Division. The LaDue Reservoir was constructed in 1963 and serves as a major water supply for the city. For many years, the public recreation opportunities available here were administered by Akron Water Supply, but in 2002 negotiations were opened with the Ohio Division of Wildlife to transfer that responsibility. In 2006, a 25-year renewable lease agreement was signed for fish and wildlife management and public recreational use of the premises as well as the Mogadore Reservoir and surrounding land in Portage County.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
This area offers a wide variety of wildlife species. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, and squirrel can be found throughout the area primarily in woodland habitat. In more open land, cottontail rabbit and woodchuck are present. A variety of waterfowl frequent the reservoir as well as smaller wetlands during migration. Mallards, wood ducks, and Canada geese are common while numbers of diving duck species including scaup, ring-necked, bufflehead, and canvasback increase in late fall and winter.
The Wendell R. LaDue Reservoir contains diverse sport fish populations which include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, white and black crappie, and channel catfish. Special regulations limit boaters to the use of electric motors only and all gas motors must be removed. A hydrographic fishing map Publication 264 for LaDue Reservoir is available.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, & FISHING
Waterfowl hunting on LaDue Reservoir requires a controlled waterfowl hunting permit. A permit drawing is held annually prior to the season. Contact the Division of Wildlife for the drawing date. Waterfowl hunting on the portion of LaDue Reservoir west of State Route 44 is open without restriction as are all portions of the property that are outside of the “Restricted Waterfowl Hunting Zone” (see map). Furbearer trapping is permitted throughout the area, however, a permit is required to trap beaver or river otter on this or any Division-owned or managed land. Contact the Division for the permit drawing date.
Care should be taken when rabbit hunting in the northern portion of the area. Snowshoe hares, a state endangered species, are known to occur just north of Middlefield and could be encountered at LaDue.
Restricted Zones, posted with “No Trespassing Zone” signs on land and marker buoys in the water, are located around the main dam at the north end of the reservoir and around the Black Brook Dike at the southern end. These areas may not be entered by the public at any time.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
There are many parking lots available throughout the wildlife area for parking. There are two boat ramps; one is located just off of Washington Road north of US 422 and the other is just south of Taylor-May Road on SR 44.
Further information may be obtained from the Area Manager, Grand River Wildlife Area, 6686 SR 534, West Farmington, Ohio 44491; telephone (330) 889-3280 or from the Wildlife District Three Office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319; telephone (330) 644-2293.
TURN IN A POACHER
Ohio’s TIP, “Turn In a Poacher,” program is helping to curtail poaching throughout the state. TIP is designed to involve the public in reporting wildlife violations. Citizens who observe wildlife violations should call the TIP toll-free hotline, 1-800-POACHER.