LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The 2,430-acre area lies in Bridgewater and Northwest townships in the northwest corner of Williams County.
Williams County Road R provides access to the area from State Route 576. The area can also be reached by Williams County Road 7 from U.S. Route 20.
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area is situated on the Wabash end moraine deposited during the Wisconsin glaciation. Originally, the area was a beech-maple hardwood forest containing beech, white ash, white oak, red oak, and sugar maple. This combination of hardwood species still dominates the area. There are also several lowland areas that are poorly drained, forming wooded wetlands. Index of Ohio's trees from the Division of Forestry.
The wildlife area is moderately to gently sloping with natural drainage to the West Branch of the St. Joseph River, which cuts through the middle of the area. Approximately two-thirds of the wildlife area is in woods and brushland. The other one-third is divided between cropland and meadow. The water areas include 14 lakes and ponds ranging from 1/4 acre to 82 acres, and over 30 wooded wetlands and restored wetlands from two to 18 acres.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Purchase of land for this wildlife area began in 1981. Additional land is being acquired as funds become available. Land posted with yellow wildlife area signs is part of Lake La Su An Wildlife Area.
Wildlife management activities include development and management of grain crops and grassland. Trees and shrubs have been planted along field borders and in odd areas to provide permanent cover for upland wildlife. Woods have been protected and improved and most former cropfields have been returned to meadow to prevent soil erosion on the steeper slopes.
Prior to Division of Wildlife acquisition, an unexploited fishery had resulted in high quality largemouth bass and bluegill populations in many of the lakes and ponds. To maintain the quality under public fishing pressure, special management techniques and regulations are being used.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Good populations of largemouth bass and bluegills are found in most of the lakes and ponds. Largemouth bass densities in many of the lakes are the highest in Ohio and the Midwest. Anglers may not be able to keep many largemouth bass, but catch rates should be very high. While most lakes contain good bluegill populations, the better ones provide an angler harvest of eight-inch or longer bluegills (some to 11 inches) that make up 40 percent of the total bluegill harvest. The West Branch of the St. Joseph River provides good fishing for largemouth bass, rock bass, crappies, and channel catfish.
The cottontail rabbit is the most abundant upland species. Ring-necked pheasants also occur here. Good populations of fox squirrel and white-tail deer utilize the area. Furbearers, particularly raccoon and muskrat, are abundant. During the spring and fall migrations, waterfowl are attracted to the lakes, ponds, and wetlands. A growing population of wild turkey is also presented on La Su An and the surrounding area.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
The area offers good rabbit, squirrel, and deer hunting. Pheasant and waterfowl hunting is also productive. Muskrats and other furbearers can be found in good numbers along the edges of the restored wetlands and the ponds and lakes on the area. Turkey hunting on the area is by special youth hunt only. For additional information see information listed below.
There are special fishing regulations on the lakes and ponds with a fishing permit required to fish on the area. Permits can be reserved in advance. Lakes on the area are closed to fishing on Tuesday and Wednesday. No special permit is necessary to fish in the West Branch of the St. Joseph River. No special permit or reservation is required to take frogs or turtles; they may be taken according to the times, seasons, and methods listed in the annual fishing regulations. Boats may be used on the lakes and ponds; however, only the four larger lakes have boat ramps. Outboard motors up to 10 hp may be used on the area lakes and ponds. Special fishing information and reservation procedures may be obtained from the La Su An fish check station or Wildlife District Two headquarters. A hydrographic fishing map (Publication 314) for the lakes and ponds is available upon request.
Hunting opportunities for people with disabilities exist at La Su An. Physically handicapped persons may operate a motor vehicle and park in certain areas of Lake La Su An. All handicapped persons shall carry a licensed physicians statement listing the illness which prohibits the individual from walking. Contact the area manager for the location of areas open to people with disabilities.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Boat launch ramps, parking lots, access roads, and latrines are provided as indicated on the map.
Hunting, Trapping, and Watchable Wildlife Information:
Further information may be obtained from: Area Manager, Lake La Su An Wildlife Area, 09-455 Road R, Pioneer, Ohio 43554, telephone: (419) 485-9092.
Fishing Reservations and Information:
Fishing reservations and information are available from the fish check station, telephone (419) 636-6189 or Wildlife District Two Office, 952-A Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840; telephone (419) 424-5000.
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.
Many of the restored wetlands on the area provide good locations to observe migrating shorebirds. Migrating warblers can also be seen in the many woodlands along the gravel access road surrounding Lake La Su An. Walking along this area road can be very enjoyable, as deer, beaver, and woodpeckers may be seen at any time. Sandhill cranes and osprey nest on the area. Bald eagles are often observed during spring and fall migration. Grassland birds such as the Northern harrier, short-eared owl, bobolink, Eastern meadowlark, and dickcissel are commonly observed during the breeding season. Consult the Ohio Watchable Wildlife Guide for further information.
Return to list of northwest Ohio wildlife area maps.