LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
This 518-acre wildlife area lies four miles northwest of Hanoverton in western Columbiana County. Access is provided from State Route 172, which bisects the area.
The area lies in the glaciated plateau region of northeastern Ohio. The terrain is gently rolling to steep, with a few poorly drained glacial pothole areas. Elevations vary from 1,140 feet to slightly over 1,340 feet above mean sea level. The area contains one 39-acre lake; two ponds, one and seven acres in size; and one five-acre man-made marsh. Open fields and brushland comprise the largest portion of the area, with approximately 35 percent being cultivated. Second growth hardwoods occupy 25 percent of the area. Ash, tulip, red maple, cherry, oak, hickory, beech, and sugar maple make up most of the woodland acreage. Index of Ohio's trees from the Division of Forestry.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Purchase of land for this wildlife area began in 1954. Additional land has been acquired as funds and land have become available. The original 25-acre Zepernick Lake was constructed prior to state ownership; after acquisition it was reconstructed and enlarged to its present size.
Wildlife habitat management has included planting of conifers, protection and improvement of the woodlands, selection of areas which will be allowed to return to woodland through natural succession, and management of existing openfields based upon the land capability. Crop rotations and contour strip cropping patterns have been developed to improve food and cover conditions for wildlife.
Hunting and fishing are the major recreational uses of the area. Sightseeing, hiking, nature study, and bird watching are other popular activities.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Cottontail rabbit, fox squirrel, woodchuck, and ring-necked pheasant are the principal game species. White-tailed deer and various waterfowl frequent the area, and all furbearers common to the region are found here.
Zepernick Lake contains good populations of eastern chain pickerel, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. The two ponds contain largemouth bass and bluegills. The Division of Wildlife has stocked grass carp to control aquatic vegetation; anglers are reminded that it is illegal to take or attempt to take this fish.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
Zepernick Lake Wildlife Area has a limited amount of acreage that is good for squirrel hunting. The best hunting for rabbit and ring-necked pheasant is in the contour cropfield strips, brushy field edges, and woodland borders. Woodchuck hunting is productive on all the open areas. Raccoon hunting is good throughout the wildlife area.
The lake, two ponds, and marsh provide limited waterfowl hunting and many opportunities for trapping.
Zepernick Lake is one of the better water areas for eastern chain pickerel and provides fair to good fishing for largemouth bass and most panfish species. The two ponds on the wildlife area provide angling for bluegill and largemouth bass.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Three parking lots are situated on the area, along State Route 172. A boat launching ramp is located at the large parking lot near the lake. Four earthen fishing piers have been constructed along the lake’s south and west shorelines to increase shore fishing opportunities.
Further information may be obtained from the Area Manager, Highlandtown Wildlife Area, 16760 Spring Valley Road, Salineville, Ohio 43945; telephone (330) 679-2201; 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.
Return to list of northeast Ohio/a> wildlife areas.