Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs
Metzger Reservoir (167 acres) and the adjoining Ferguson Reservoir (305 acres) are fast becoming the prime location for easily viewable waterfowl and other semi-aquatic specialties in Allen County. Both reservoirs are walkable around their lengthy perimeters, but it is the causeway between the two that affords optimal viewing of all surface waters with the use of a spotting scope. Metzger Reservoir, the smaller northwestern reservoir, for unknown reasons attracts far more waterfowl than the larger Ferguson Reservoir.
Metzger Reservoir has become the Ruddy Duck capital in this region of the state and is among the top sites in all of interior Ohio. During October and November, flocks of 400 to 600 birds are typical, and up to 1,000 birds have been counted in some years. Spring and fall also bring the occasional scoter (all three species have been sighted, though Surf Scoter is the most frequent) or Long-tailed Duck, and Snow Buntings seem to have site fidelity for the causeway in November. Other rarities have included Purple Sandpiper (twice), Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, and Bald Eagle. The remains of a Saw-whet Owl were once found on the causeway.
From downtown Lima by the Allen County Memorial building on OH-309 and OH-117, proceed east about 1.8 miles to the major intersection with I-75 (Exit 125), and continue another 2.6 miles east on OH-309 (past the county fairgrounds) to Mumaugh Road; turn left and proceed north on Mumaugh Road for 1.0 mile and again turn left onto East High Street (Reservoir Road); continue west on Reservoir Road about 0.5 mile to a paved parking lot on the left at the juncture of the two reservoirs.
Parking Areas: Two parking lots along Reservoir Road, the northern boundary of both reservoirs.
This site always seems to be windy, so be prepared with extra layers any time of year; boats with electric motors only are permitted.
From Ohio Ornithological Society
Birds of Interest by Season
Waterfowl (until freeze-out).
High numbers of Ruddy Ducks, occasional scoters.
Occasional non-breeding Common Loons.
Very high numbers of Ruddy Ducks, occasional scoters and Long-tailed Ducks, occasional rare shorebirds and raptors along causeway, Snow Buntings reliable on the causeway in November.
About Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs
The Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs are located on Reservoir Road which is on the east side of Lima. It can be reached from I-75 by taking Exit 127 at OH-81 and heading east. Turn right on Rousch Road and head south to Reservoir Road. Turn left and head east approximately 1.5 miles to the reservoir entrance.
Ferguson and Metzger reservoirs are upground reservoirs. Upground reservoirs are constructed by building high dikes on a relatively flat terrain to hold water. They are pump storage reservoirs. Water is pumped in from the Ottawa River at times of high flow and stored in these reservoirs until needed by the city of Lima.
Metzger Reservoir was built in 1946 by the city of Lima as a municipal water supply. It has a surface area of 154 acres and a capacity of 1.2 billion gallons. The bottom is relatively flat with depths ranging from 18 to 33 feet.
Ferguson Reservoir was built in 1958 to expand the city of Lima’s municipal water supply. It has a surface area of 305 acres and a capacity of 2.2 billion gallons. Depths range from 3 to 33 feet. A large bed of cattails is present along the shallow east shoreline.
From Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs webpage
No restroom facilities.