LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The 380-acre Beaver Creek Wildlife Area contains one of the most unique wetland complexes found in southwestern Ohio. The general topography of the area is flat to moderately rolling and is located in the Till Plains Eco-Region of Ohio. The Beaver Creek wetland corridor is thought to be related to the old Teays River system that existed prior to the glaciers. The area can be easily reached from Interstate 675 or State Route 35.
The Beaver Creek Wildlife Area consists of a mosaic of wetland types, including shrub swamp, wet meadow, and wooded riparian corridor. The remaining upland areas off of New Germany-Trebein Road have been converted to prairie. The 50-acre freshwater fen is located off of Fairgrounds Road and can be viewed from the boardwalk and observation tower.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Purchasing of land for this public hunting and wildlife observation area began in 1990 with the assistance of The Nature Conservancy and Beaver Creek Wetlands Association. The ODNR, Division of Wildlife purchased 130 acres from the Siebenthaler Nursery to protect and enhance the Siebenthaler Fen. This unique wildlife area contains five of six wetland types found in Ohio. The primary objective on the area is to protect, preserve, restore, and enhance wetlands, and improve and protect habitat for nesting and migratory wetland wildlife species. The area will be managed to provide quality recreational opportunities to wildlife enthusiasts. Three wetlands have been either constructed or restored to improve wetland and wildlife diversity.
Beaver Creek Wildlife Area is listed as a Watchable Wildlife Area in the National Watchable Wildlife Program. This program provides the public with opportunities to experience wildlife firsthand.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
A total of 79 species of breeding birds use Beaver Creek Wildlife Area. The most common species include the common yellowthroat, willow flycatcher, yellow warbler, and red-winged blackbird. Breeding bird species that use this area and are identified as being endangered, threatened, and of special interest, include the least bittern, sedge wren, and the Virginia and sora rail. The area is also an important stopover habitat for migrating songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Beaver, once extirpated from the area have returned and established a small colony. Other resident furbearers include the red fox, muskrat, mink, raccoon, opossum, and coyote. Reptiles with a “special interest” status such as the spotted turtle and state endangered massasauga rattlesnake are known to breed on the area. Rare and unique plant communities, like the Siebenthaler Fen, harbor endangered and threatened plant species such as the blue-leaved willow, tuberous Indian plantain, and over 300 species of plants. Beaver Creek contains two uncommon fish species to southwest Ohio, the spotted sucker and central mudminnow. Moreover, the stream provides habitat for important game fish, such as the Northern largemouth bass.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
Only whitetail deer, waterfowl, and furbearers may be hunted on Beaver Creek Wildlife Area. Trapping is productive in the many wetlands and along Beaver Creek. A special permit is required to trap beaver on wildlife areas. Wood ducks and mallards can be hunted by jump shooting along Beaver Creek. Deer can be found in good numbers throughout the wildlife area.
The Siebenthaler Fen complex is very popular with bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, and school groups, as its unique habitat is a great place to listen for frogs and toads or see migrating birds in the spring and fall. The boardwalk (handicap accessible) and observation tower are great places to observe unusual wildflowers, such as Canada burnet and queen-of-the-prairie. The information kiosk on the boardwalk is an excellent place to rest and learn more about the wetlands at Beaver Creek Wildlife Area. The Beaver Creek Wetlands Association has partnered with the Division of Wildlife on constructing the recycled portion of the boardwalk, the Nancy Siebenthaler Observation Tower, the information kiosk, several wetland restorations, and research projects. The wooden portion of the boardwalk was built with money provided by the “Do Something Wild!” state income tax checkoff and constructed by the ODNR, Civilian Conservation Corps. On the north side of Beaver Creek Wildlife Area three old fields were planted to prairie grasses and forbs.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Facility locations are depicted on the map and include 2 parking lots, a boardwalk, observation tower, and information kiosk.
Further information may be obtained at the Wildlife District Five Office, 1076 Old Springfield Pike, Xenia, Ohio 45385; telephone (937) 372-9261.
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 southwest Ohio wildlife areas.