Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area–Vern Essi Wetland
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Pickerel Creek Dikes
About the Vern Essi Wetland
Known formally as the Vern Essi Marsh addition to the Pickerel Creek State Wildlife Area in Sandusky County, this new pocket wetland is in the heart of the southwestern Lake Erie marshes and adds to the already high-quality habitat at the 3,200-acre wildlife area.
Framed by woodlands and other marshy parcels, it boosts the available habitat for breeding and migrating Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, and blue-winged teal. Many other species of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, wading birds, furbearers, and the growing bald eagle population also have Vern Essi to thank, along with the many dedicated public and private partners who made Essi’s wish come true.
From Newspaper article on Vern Essi Wetland dedication
Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
About Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area
During the spring and fall migrations, large numbers of waterfowl are attracted to the area. Mallard, wood duck, black duck, blue-winged teal, and green-winged teal are the most abundant species, with wigeon, pintail, gadwall, and shoveler appearing in smaller numbers. Canada geese also use the area. Other bird species include the trumpeter and tundra swans, common tern, great blue heron, great egret, black-crowned night heron, woodcock, snipe, sora, Virginia rail, and mourning dove. Bald eagles nest on the area and both adults and immatures are frequently seen year-round.
The geographic location of Pickerel Creek, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, also accounts for high numbers of songbirds, shorebirds, and hawks during the spring and fall migrations. Upland game animals and furbearers are also plentiful including cottontail rabbit, white-tailed deer, woodchuck, muskrat, raccoon, and mink.
Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area lies between the south shore of Sandusky Bay and US-6 in Townsend and Riley townships, Sandusky County. The area totals 3,200 acres. The majority of the area has been restored to wetlands with the remainder in woods, brush, and native grassland. Pickerel Creek flows through the western half of the area, forming a high-quality freshwater estuarine habitat.
The northern portion of Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area lies in the center of some of the finest wetland habitat still in existence along Sandusky Bay. Early records reveal an extensive wet prairie in this vicinity. Wild rice and other waterfowl foods grew in abundance in the clear waters of Sandusky Bay. As the surrounding land was cleared and drained for agricultural use, wetland habitat was seriously damaged. The turbid water no longer supported the huge beds of wild rice and other high-quality aquatic vegetation, and waterfowl numbers decreased.
The Division of Wildlife acquired Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area in 1987. Since this region continues to support a good waterfowl population, Pickerel Creek is presently managed as a public hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation area with emphasis on waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.
From Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area webpage
No restroom facilities.