- The deepest lake in Franklin County is Hoover Reservoir with a maximum depth of 43 feet.
- It was created in 1955 by impounding Big Walnut Creek, a tributary of the Scioto River.
- The reservoir was built as a source of drinking water for the City of Columbus and named after the 31st U.S. President, Herbert Hoover.
While Hoover Dam in Westerville, Ohio may not be as well-known as Hoover Dam in Nevada, you might be surprised to discover that Hoover Reservoir holds the impressive title of the deepest lake in Franklin County, Ohio!
The reservoir was created in 1955 by impounding the Big Walnut Creek, a tributary of the Scioto River. The lake has a surface area of approximately 3,272 acres (13.24 square kilometers), and a maximum depth of 43 feet (12 meters). At capacity, the reservoir holds 20.8 billion U.S. gallons (79,000,000 cubic meters).
The reservoir is a popular destination for fishing. It is home to a variety of fish species, making it a popular spot for anglers. In addition to recreational activities, the reservoir also serves an important role in the local community by providing a source of drinking water for the City of Columbus and surrounding areas. The dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities.
While a portion of Hoover Reservoir is in Franklin County, Ohio, a portion of the lake is also located in Delaware County, Ohio. However, Hoover Reservoir is not the deepest lake in that county. That honor belongs to Alum Creek Lake.
Keep reading to discover more about the reservoir and the flora and fauna that call Hoover Reservoir Park home!
What Is There to Do at Hoover Reservoir?
Hoover Reservoir is a great place for families to enjoy a variety of recreational activities in a beautiful natural setting. The reservoir allows motorized boats and sailboats, as well as kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. Motors are limited to 10 horsepower (hp) and a speed of 10 miles per hour (mph). Jetskis, tubing, and swimming are not allowed.
There are several boat ramps located around the reservoir for easy access. Hoover Reservoir is stocked with fish by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The ODNR supplies the reservoir with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and saugeye. If you’re a pier fisherman, be apprised that the 1500-foot (457 meter) boardwalk near Galena is closed until 2024 for reconstruction.
There are two trails in Hoover Reservoir Park. The Hoover Dam Park Loop is a one-mile (1.6 kilometer) trail, which is considered an easy route. The Hoover Dam Loop is a splendid way to enjoy the flora and fauna in the area. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. The 1.6-mile (2.6 kilometer) Big Walnut Creek Trail is an excellent choice for birding, with multiple reports of bald eagles along the route. Several picnic areas with shelters and grills are at the ready so that visitors can enjoy a meal or a snack while taking in the beautiful scenery. The park also boasts a 27-hole disc golf course.
What Wildlife Is There Around Hoover Reservoir?
The Hoover Reservoir Park area provides a diverse and thriving ecosystem for a wide range of wildlife species. Some of the predominant wildlife that can be found in the area include:
- White-tailed deer: Hoover Reservoir Park has a healthy population of white-tailed deer, which can often be seen grazing in open fields and wooded areas.
- Waterfowl: The reservoir is a popular spot for migratory waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and swans.
- Bald eagles: Bald eagles are occasionally spotted around the reservoir, particularly in the winter months when they migrate to the area.
- Great blue herons: Great blue herons are a common sight around the reservoir and can often be seen fishing in the shallows.
- Turtles: The reservoir is home to several species of turtles, including snapping turtles and painted turtles.
- Fish: The reservoir is stocked with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and saugeye.
- Small mammals: The park is also home to a variety of small mammals, including raccoons, opossums, foxes, and squirrels.
What Plant Life is Around Hoover Reservoir?
Plant life in the area provides a diverse and beautiful landscape, with a mix of forested areas, wetlands, open fields, and wildflowers.
- Trees: The park contains several stands of mature forest, dominated by species such as oak, hickory, and maple.
- Wetland plants: The reservoir’s shoreline and adjacent wetland areas are home to various wetland plants, including cattails, bulrushes, and water lilies.
- Wildflowers: The park has several areas where wildflowers grow, including species such as goldenrod, milkweed, and butterfly weed.
- Grasses: The park has several open areas where grasses grow, including species such as switchgrass and little bluestem.
- Shrubs: The park contains several species of shrubs, including serviceberry, spicebush, and elderberry.
- Invasive species: Hoover Reservoir and the surrounding park area also contain invasive plant species, like garlic mustard and honeysuckle.
Facts About Hoover Reservoir
- The reservoir was built in the 1950s as a source of drinking water for the City of Columbus. It is named after the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.
- Hoover Reservoir is the deepest lake in Franklin County, with a maximum depth of 43 feet (12 m).
- The reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, and it has produced several state-record catches, including a bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), weighing 43.0 pounds (19.5 kg)!
- The Hoover Sailing Club, which is located on the reservoir’s east shore, was founded in 1957 and hosts annual regattas.
Where Is Hoover Reservoir Located on a Map?
Hoover Reservoir is located in Delaware and Franklin counties, positioned in the northeastern direction of Westerville and roughly 10 miles away from downtown Columbus. Access to the lake can be gained via Sunbury Road, which connects to Interstate 270.
Here is Hoover Reservoir on a map:
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