Clendening Lake, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Northeast -

Also known as:  Clendening Reservoir

The call of the wild permeates the area surrounding Clendening Lake. The meandering reservoir stretches over 10 miles along Brushy Creek and is enclosed within public lands owned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. There is no development on the nearly 1,800-acre lake; the lake is to remain in undeveloped status for the benefit of both human and nature’s visitors. The only facilities on the lake are a small concession-operated marina, campground, and a separate picnic area and playground near the dam. Beyond the forested public areas, farmland surrounds the lake with a few tiny villages scattered along the main roads. One would hardly believe such a wilderness paradise exists only two hours from Columbus and Pittsburgh.

Boating at Clendening Lake consists of canoes, kayaks, pontoons and fishing boats with a 10-horsepower limit. With its many miles of irregular shoreline, coves, branches and bends, Clendening lends itself perfectly to lazy days aboard a pontoon boat watching wildlife and spotting waterfowl in the shallows. The marina rents pontoons to visitors and offers dock space and storage for private boat owners. Bait, boating supplies, gas, snacks, propane, fishing tackle and souvenirs are sold at the marina. You can arrange for accommodations in one of several cabins or camping shelters rented by marina staff. Campground space is also reserved here; 80 electric sites join 20 non-electric sites in providing camp space for vacationers. Although there is no designated swimming beach, a swim area for boaters is marked by buoys near the marina. Clendening Lake is the perfect getaway destination for young families and the young-at-heart. A Boy Scout camp and a YMCA camp are located near the lakefront, serving up childhood memories to many youngsters that will be treasured forever.

Fishing is where Clendening Lake really shines. The reservoir has produced state-record catfish and is considered one of Ohio’s best bass-producing lakes. The shoals and coves hold sunfish, crappie, perch, largemouth bass, flathead catfish and channel catfish. Saugeye are stocked annually. Bass tournament are held here most years, usually in the spring. Although anglers can fish from shore in several areas, some type of small boat is usually needed to get into the coves and to the far reaches of the many arms of the lake. An Ohio fishing license is required, and anglers should always check in advance for any special regulations or limits on fish. A public boat launch is available near the dam year round, although the marina and campground are closed in winter.

Ohio’s premier hiking trail, the 1440-mile Buckeye Trail that loops around much of the state, skirts the shore of Clendening Lake, providing water views to trail fans from all over the Midwest. The Bowerston Trail section also hugs the lakefronts of Tappan Lake and Piedmont Lake. The multi-use trail is beautiful and sometimes strenuous, touching every corner of Ohio. Spring on the trail offers a profusion of wildflowers and plenty of opportunities for bird watching. The roads around the lake and campground are excellent for walking and bicycling.

The many acres of public land surrounding Clendening Lake are open for hunting during the fall. Deer, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon and waterfowl are all taken during their respective seasons. Occasionally a black bear will be sighted, although they are protected in Ohio. Those wishing to hunt should contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife for licensing and regulations. Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District also has maps that show where hunting is permitted. Because there are several large reservoirs in the surrounding area, private campgrounds are available nearby along either lakes or rivers, as are cabins, guest rentals and other forms of lodgings.

Clendening Lake and other nearby reservoirs were built primarily for flood control. After disastrous floods in the early 1900s, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was formed to find a solution to flooding along the Muskingum River. Shortly after planning was begun, Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1939, transferring ownership and control of dams and flood control structures to the federal government under the US Army Corps of Engineers. The US Army Corps of Engineers took over construction and control of the dams, and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District maintained ownership of the thousands of acres of adjacent land surrounding the reservoirs. Most of the land is considered open to the public. Many nearby reservoirs leased land to private owners for building cottages and homes, but Clendening Lake was reserved in undeveloped status.

There are no plans to offer leases or building lots near the lake, and only necessary improvements will be made to retain the wilderness feel. One visit to Clendening Lake makes nature lovers appreciate that thoughtful decision. Clendening Lake looks and feels wild and unspoiled. What better place to float lazily on a raft or stalk the wily largemouth? Come and visit wild Clendening Lake-it’s only a couple of hours from the big city but a world away from traffic and noise.

Things to do at Clendening Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Clendening Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Sunfish

Clendening Lake Photo Gallery

Clendening Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 1,702 acres

Shoreline Length: 36 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 898 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Completion Year: 1938

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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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