Kiser Lake, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Southwest -

A surprise awaits visitors to Southwest Ohio when they see Kiser Lake. Nearly 400 acres of water created especially for recreation greet visitors to Kiser Lake State Park. The lake was originally created in 1840 when a dam was built across Mosquito Creek to provide water power to local mills. Eventually, the mills were no longer used and the dam neglected. Most of the water drained away, leaving only a marshy area. Many years passed before there was renewed interest in re-creating the lake. In 1938, construction began on a new dam and in 1940, the new lake began to fill, a full 100 years after the first dam was built. This time, however, water power wasn’t the focus. Instead, under the management of the Ohio DNR Division of Parks and Recreation, the new Kiser Lake is encompassed entirely within the new Kiser Lake State Park and is dedicated to wetland preservation and provision of enjoyment to all who come here.

Nearly everything has been thought of at Kiser Lake: swimming beach, marina, boat rentals, picnic grounds, two boat ramps, hiking trails and a campground. The lake is limited to non-motorized watercraft, so it is delightfully quiet and great for paddling and sailing. The small marina rents seasonal slips. Channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch and bluegill are all eager to take the hook. Saugeye, a hybrid cross between walleye and sauger, have been stocked to increase opportunities for sport fishing, while striped bass and channel catfish are stocked on a regular schedule. Five fishing piers and plentiful bank fishing make access to the water easy for both young and old to enjoy this time-honored sport. With a maximum depth of 12 feet, many areas of the shallow lake offer excellent weed cover, and fishing for the ‘big ones’ becomes a worthy challenge. An Ohio fishing license is required, and all Ohio fishing regulations are in effect. Some winters the lake freezes solid enough to support ice fishing, ice skating, and ice boating. Scuba diving is permitted at the lake with certain restrictions, including appropriate markers and an above-surface companion at all times.

A 600-foot swimming beach offers plenty of room for beach lovers to splash or simply enjoy the sun at Kiser Lake. Rest rooms are provided, and a refreshment stand offers cold drinks and snacks. Picnic areas provide tables, grills and groups shelters by reservation. A playground and a volleyball court are located in the campground area, and a basketball court can be found near the beach. Another playground and a horseshoe court are located near the Nature Center. The campground holds a few sites with electricity and an RV waste dump. Over 100 non-electric campsites are available along with camping cabins that can be reserved.

Visitors also come to Kiser Lake to enjoy the multiple hiking trails and the Kiser Lake Wetlands State Nature Preserve. Located within the state park, the 50-acre Nature Preserve offers wet meadows, fens, and remnants of the former Mosquito Lake Bog. Unusual bog and wetland plants such as sundew, pitcher plant, spruce and tamarack offer a glimpse of long-ago habitats inhabited by many types of birds and animals. Both within the preserve and along Kiser Lake’s shoreline, nature and hiking trails offer varied terrain and scenic vistas for the nature and solitude lover. None of the trails are very long; the longest is only a mile-and-a-half, making access easy for the less physically fit. A seven-mile bridle path is designated for horseback riding. When winter conditions permit, the trails are used for cross-country skiing. A few small hills in the park allow for good sledding. Hunting is permitted in certain areas during the season with appropriate license.

Kiser Lake makes a great home base for a western Ohio vacation, about an hour north of Dayton. The small town of Saint Paris is located nearest the lake and provides hospitality to Kiser Lake visitors. The small city of 2,000 people offers a grocery store, several restaurants, churches, quaint shops and plenty of home-town ambiance. Annually, Pony Wagon Days celebrate Saint Paris’ pioneer past, while concerts in the park occur throughout the summer. Those with an urge for cultural exhibits can admire the 5,000 years of art history displayed at the Dayton Art Institute less than an hour to the south. Nearby at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force is open to the public and features exhibits of flight, past and future, including space travel. The art exhibits feature a display honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

Even closer to Kiser Lake, The City of Urbana offers entertainment, nightlife, shopping and the amenities one expects in a university city. Urbana University hosts the Johnny Appleseed Museum, housing a large collection of memorabilia and information regarding this larger-than-life Ohio pioneer and folk hero. Children especially enjoy the story of John Chapman’s mission to spread apple trees across Ohio and the Midwest. And no fan of historic architecture and early American life will want to miss a short side-trip northeast of Urbana to the privately-owned Piatt Castles, still inhabited by members of the Piatt family and assisted by a foundation to preserve the family collections for posterity.

If camping doesn’t sound like your ideal vacation, other forms of lodgings are available near Kiser Lake, although not on the lake itself. Urbana offers hotels and several bed-and-breakfasts. The countryside nearby has guest cottages and cabins for rent, and private rentals can be found on nearby lakes and rivers. There is no real estate available directly on Kiser Lake, but housing can be found nearby, both in new developments and as rural farms and acreage. Ohio’s rich history is often overlooked as the perfect spot for a family vacation, and it may be time to take a look at the unassuming lakes and cities of the Midwest. One trip to Kiser Lake will convince you that this is the place to enjoy family fun and fantastic fishing.

Things to do at Kiser Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Kiser Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sauger
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Kiser Lake Photo Gallery

Kiser Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation.

Surface Area: 394 acres

Shoreline Length: 6 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,067 feet

Maximum Depth: 12 feet

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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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