LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
This 231-acre wildlife area is located off State Route 19, approximately five miles north of Oak Harbor. Access to the marsh units is from Township Road 92, one-half mile west of State Route 19.
The Toussaint Wildlife Area is situated in the flat glacial lake plain region of northwest Ohio. Approximately three-quarters of the area consists of managed wetlands and open water. The marshes are shallow, varying from one to three feet in depth, with deeper channels created by the construction of dikes.
The Toussaint River runs through and divides the wildlife area. The marsh area lies on the west side of the Toussaint River; angler access is on the east side of the river.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
The Toussaint Wildlife Area was purchased in 1959 for waterfowl hunting and as an access to the Toussaint River for anglers and duck hunters. A portion of this area is a river marsh, bounded on the north and east by the Toussaint River. Prior to purchase by the state, this portion was operated as a private waterfowl shooting area. With enactment and strict enforcement of the “no baiting” regulation, however, duck hunting success on the marsh declined.
Wildlife management work has included renovation and modification of dikes, installation of an electric pump, and seasonal flooding of the diked marsh units. Management to encourage natural waterfowl foods, and a favorable location encourage use of this area by migrating waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.
Some wetland game birds found on the area are puddle ducks, woodcock, snipe, sora, and Virginia rails. Non-marsh units produce some pheasants and rabbits. Plovers, herons, bitterns, yellowlegs, and a variety of other birds can be observed on the area. Spring is an excellent time to observe large numbers of migrating shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl.
Common furbearers are well distributed. The muskrat is the major species, with mink, raccoon, skunk, and opossum also present in significant numbers.
FISHING, HUNTING, AND TRAPPING
Fish species present include white and black crappies, channel catfish, bullheads, freshwater drum, carp, largemouth bass, bluegill, and other sunfish.
Channel catfish and bullheads are the most prevalent and sought-after of the game and food fishes. These can be taken almost any time of year, but channel cats are caught in largest numbers from late May to July. Bullhead fishing, although good year-round, is outstanding during April. Crappies, carp, and an occasional Northern pike are also taken.
Waterfowl are wary and their sight and hearing are very keen. Therefore, concealment is extremely important. Hunters shouldn’t wear bright or shiny clothes, or expose their faces. Paper or empty shells scattered around may frighten ducks away before they come within range. Decoys will generally help, but a duck call should be used only by an expert. One phony note will ruin the chance for a shot. “Sky busting” is discouraged because it spoils the hunting for everyone. The shooter should hold fire until ducks are within 30 yards. The waterfowler should pick a spot with some open water and good concealment, and then stay put. One place is as good as another; moving around will ruin the hunting for everyone.
Trapping on the Toussaint Area is open to the public and is unrestricted except that trapping season guidelines and regulations must be followed. Good catches of muskrats can be made in the ideal habitat of the Toussaint River and the flooded marsh units. Other furbearers, including raccoon and mink, can also be taken.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Three parking lots are located on the area. The map shows their locations.
Further information may be obtained from the Wildlife District Two Office, 952 Lima Avenue, Box A, Findlay, OH 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.
Return to list of northwest Ohio wildlife areas.