LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
Rush Run Wildlife Area is located in southwest Ohio, 14 miles northwest of Middletown near the village of Somerville. Approximately half the area is in woods, mostly on the steep hillsides of Rush Run Creek Valley. The remainder is divided equally between openland consisting of cropland and permanent meadow and reverting fields with a mixture of grass and shrubs. This type of cover occurs mostly on the gently rolling uplands.
Rush Run Creek is an intermittent stream, named for its rapid water flow. In a four-mile stretch it descends 300 feet. A 54-acre lake is located on the headwaters of this stream.
HISTORY AND PURPOSE
Purchasing of land for this wildlife area began in 1955. Management work has included the planting of conifers, protection and improvement of existing woodlands, selection of areas to be returned to woodland through natural succession, planting of prairie grasses, and maintenance of open fields. Rush Run Lake was constructed in 1970.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappies, and channel catfish are the principal fish species in the lake.
Cottontail rabbit, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, fox squirrel, white-tailed deer, woodchuck, raccoon, red and gray foxes, muskrat, mink, skunk, and opossum are the major game and fur species. A variety of waterfowl are attracted to the lake during migration. Wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese, and blue-winged teal are the most numerous.
Many kinds of nesting and migrant birds utilize the area. Large numbers of waterfowl and songbirds migrate through in spring and fall, and many hawks stop over during the fall migration. A variety of songbirds can be found all year. Bird watching is a prime form of recreation and enjoyment for many visitors.
HUNTING, TRAPPING, AND FISHING
The Rush Run Wildlife Area is popular for rabbit, bobwhite quail, and pheasant hunting. Brushy areas and fencerows along open fields are usually the best areas to hunt. Deer and fox squirrels are abundant in the more open woods and fencerows and along streams. Raccoons and woodchucks are widely distributed and hunting is usually good. Waterfowl hunting is usually best in the wooded coves of the lake. Trapping for muskrats and mink along the lake shoreline, around ponds, and on stream banks is popular and productive.
The 54-acre lake was stocked in 1970 with largemouth bass, bluegills, crappies, and channel catfish. Fishing is likely to be productive around the numerous logs and brushy areas in the bays on the upper end of the lake. The best fishing during the early morning and late evening is usually in the shallower areas of the lake. During the day, fishing is best in the deeper water areas. Only electric motors are permitted.
PUBLIC USE FACILITIES
Facilities include parking lots, access roads, a designated shotgun-only target area, latrines, a boat ramp, year-round dog training area, and several nature trails.
Further information may be obtained from the Area Manager, Rush Run Wildlife Area, 1989 Northern Road, Somerville, Ohio 45064; telephone (513) 726-6795 or from 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.