Buckeye Lake, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Central -

Once used for canal transportation, now a year round adventure land, Buckeye Lake in Ohio is a destination worthy of investigation. Located just a short 30 miles east of Columbus and in the Central Ohio Tourism Region, this lake is enjoyed by locals, tourists, and those who call the area their second home.

Thousands of years ago, the land was carved by glaciers traveling across Ohio that formed the base of the lake. In the early 1800’s as white man began to settle in the area, a need for transporting goods to the area initiated the idea for a canal system. In 1926 work began to build a dike blocking drainage into the South Fork of the Licking River and was completed in 1830. Originally named the Licking Summit Reservoir, the name was officially changed to Buckeye Lake in 1894 when the canal system was closed and proclaimed outdated by the growing railway system. That same year the area was named as a public park. By 1900, numerous homes, summer cottages, and amusement parks were built around the lake as the popularity of “lake living” grew. With the invention of power boats in the early 1900’s, the fascination with water sports drew more visitors. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, night life drew more pleasure seekers as performances by big-band stars at the local amusement parks lured people out to enjoy music, dancing, and picnicking under the stars. In 1949, an area was officially set aside as Buckeye State Park when the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created. Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) still maintains the park and regulates the water in Buckeye Lake.

Buckeye Lake Village is located on the northern shore of the lake and continues the tradition and excitement of “lake living.” Here you will find a chance to purchase real estate with residential housing ranging from waterfront homes, non-waterfront homes, condominiums, apartments, and even a retirement housing community. Vacation rentals are also available here and nearby for your visit. The local Yacht Club has an unusual distinction of being the only Yacht Club in America headquartered since 1912 on an island, Watkins Island that is reached by its own bridge. This group sponsors several sail contests during the year, as well as an antique wood boat parade.

Buckeye Lake is located in the counties of Fairfield, Licking, and Perry with several communities lining the shores with residences, marinas, businesses, plus beaches, launch ramps, and parks. No matter where you choose to stay or which season, Buckeye Lake is sure to please. During the spring, delight in the beauty as the lake begins to thaw, birds return to nest, and spring flowers burst with color. The summer is a bustling time as the water warms and beckons you to swim and lie on the beaches. Boating of all kinds can be witnessed on the lake including sailboats, bass boats, pleasure boats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes, wind surfers and paddle boats along with skiing and tubing. During the fall as the brilliant colors of the leaves appear, the lake is still busy with boaters trying to get in every moment of water time before the freeze and those just meandering around the shores enjoying the beauty reflected in the water as the birds fly overhead on the migratory routes. As Old Man Winter arrives, the lake takes on a new look as it gradually freezes and the activity lessens until the lake is deemed frozen. At that time, bundle up and enjoy the fun of ice skating, cross country skiing, ice boating, and ice fishing.

Fishing is indeed a year round adventure at Buckeye Lake. Anglers drop their line teasing the large populations of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, flathead catfish, channel catfish, white bass, saugeye, perch, hybrid striped bass and muskellunge. The ODNR lowers the water level about 2.5 feet during late fall to help the docks withstand the ice over in the winter and for spring time flood control. But no matter what the water level, the fishing is always great as evidenced by those hardy enough to weather the cold for the excitement of ice fishing.

Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve is an island that was created when it floated to the top of the water when the dike was first created. It is accessible only by boat and special permit from the ODNR but nature lovers and bird watchers are enthralled by the variety of unique plants and birds that live on the island. It has been noted that over 250 species of birds have been viewed here including the many migratory birds that stop here for food and rest.

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Buckeye Lake has it all. Come visit today.

Things to do at Buckeye Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Picnicking
  • Ice Skating
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Amusement Park
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Buckeye Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Buckeye Lake Photo Gallery

Buckeye Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Surface Area: 3,173 acres

Shoreline Length: 32 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 892 feet

Average Depth: 6 feet

Maximum Depth: 14 feet

Completion Year: 1830

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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