Wellston Wildlife Area webpage
Wellston Wildlife Area map
Also, see Vinton County Birding Drive
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This 1,414-acre area is in Clinton and Richland townships, Vinton County, approximately one mile north of Hamden. Lake Rupert lies along OH-683 one-half mile north of the intersection with OH-93.
The topography includes gently rolling, reverting old fields and woodland. The 973 acres of uplands surrounding the lake provide a variety of habitats for wildlife. Forty-five percent of the land is covered by woodland, 25 percent by brushland, and 30 percent by open land. The lake encompasses 325 acres, 25 percent of the total area. At conservation pool, the lake is about two miles long with a maximum depth of 28 feet. Shoreline cover includes rooted aquatic vegetation, overhanging brush, felled shoreline trees, and submerged brush piles.
Lake Rupert was built in 1969 as a cooperative effort of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the city of Wellston to provide a water supply for the city and general public recreation. In 1979 the ODNR, Division of Wildlife, received ownership of the area from the city.
Management work has included selective cutting and mowing of brushlands, maintenance of existing open fields, planting of shrubs, and the addition of squirrel nest boxes. In the lake, many submerged fish attractors, consisting of brush piles and felled shoreline trees, have been added as fish habitat.
Lake Rupert has been stocked with and yields good catches of Northern pike, walleyes, largemouth bass, bullheads, bluegills, and channel catfish.
The major game species are cottontail rabbit, ruffed grouse, fox and gray squirrels, white-tailed deer, and woodchuck. Woodcock and waterfowl appear mainly as migrant visitors, but some resident wood ducks can be found. Beaver are well established on the lake and all other furbearers common to the region occur in the area. A variety of songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians also live in the area in association with the diverse mixture of habitat types.
Two parking lots and a boat launching ramp are located on the west side of the lake off OH-683. Parking lots are also available on County Road 43 and Township Road 4 on the east side of the lake.
From Wellston Wildlife Area webpage
Restroom at boat ramp on OH-683, portable toilet.