Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Senecaville Ohio’

Busy Season for Senecaville Fish Hatchery

Hatchery Welcome SignSenecaville State Fish Hatchery is among the nation’s best hatcheries. Each year, approximately 20 – 25 million fish are raised here by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. They supply lakes and reservoirs around Ohio, as well as six pools in the Ohio River and 10 pools in the Muskingum River.

   Since approximately 1.3 million people go fishing in Ohio each year, it has become necessary to assist with the natural propagation of fish in Ohio waters. ODNR operates six fish hatcheries throughout Ohio for this purpose.

 

Hatchery Overlook

The bridge over the dam makes a great place to get an overview of the hatchery.

   The Senecaville Fish Hatchery is located in southern Guernsey County just below the dam on beautiful Seneca Lake. Beginning as a federal hatchery in 1938, when they first raised striped bass to replenish dwindling fish supplies, the hatchery now has 37 ponds containing a total of 37 water acres. Water is supplied by Seneca Lake, which can deliver 2,000 gallons per minute.

 

Hatchery Egg Jar

Casey Goodpaster displays the incubator jar where eggs are kept until hatched.

   Fish hatchery technicians, Casey Goodpaster and Josh Binkley, have been there about fifteen years each. Both have gone to college and have degrees in Parks and Recreation, and Fish Management respectively. These men do much more than care for fish as they often become mechanics, painters, welders, and mowers at the facility. They enjoy the freedom of spending much of their time outside.

 

Getting eggs

Eggs are being stripped from a walleye into a large bowl at Mosquito Lake.

   This is the time of year when the fish hatchery at Seneca Lake is busiest of all. In early March, the fish hatchery collects about 300 quarts of walleye fish eggs from Mosquito Lake in the Youngstown area. This adds up to around 20–30 million eggs!

W alleye released to the lake

Once the eggs have been gathered from the fish, the walleye are placed back into the lake.

 

Hatchery net

Josh Binkley uses a net to gather the fingerlings from the collection tank.

   The eggs are then fertilized and about three quarts are put into each incubator tube. Water must move through the tubes constantly to keep the eggs from sticking together. It takes two to three weeks for them to hatch before moving up the tubes and into a holding tank.

  Walleye

saugeye

The saugeye is a combination of a female walleye pictured above and the male sauger below.

   Often they cross a female walleye with a male sauger to create saugeye. This is done with about fifty percent of the walleye eggs since the saugeye have a much higher survival rate. Saugeye are well suited for Ohio reservoirs and grow rapidly.

 

Fingerling

Fingerlings are very small but ready for the lake.

   The newly hatched fish is called a ‘fry’ and is about the length of half an eyelash, according to one technician. Finally, the last juvenile stage is that of a fingerling about 15 cm long. At this time, they can be placed directly into the lake.

catfish

Catfish are raised in June and July and kept in the hatchery ponds for about a year.

A little later in the year in June and July, the hatchery will be raising channel catfish. They lay their eggs in a spawn inside a can placed in the ponds. These layers of eggs are then gently moved inside to hatch in five to seven days. After being fed fish meal for about a week, they quadruple their size and are then placed in the ponds for up to a year before stocking them in lakes and streams.

 

Hatchery ODNR sign

ODNR took over operations at the hatchery in 1987.

   When fishermen purchase rods, reels, fishing tackles, fish finders and motorboat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributes the funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds acquire the habitat, stock the fish, provide education and develop boat accesses.

 

Seneca Lake Fish Hatchery

This airplane view captures the entire hatchery complex at Senecaville.

    At the Senecaville Fish Hatchery, there are four full-time employees and one part-time in the summer. Employees receive annual training through workshops regarding many topics from chain saw cutting to herbicides, fish and more.

 

Hatchery Stocking Truck

Their stocking truck carries oxygen and a water pump to keep the water moving.

    Senecaville Fish Hatchery is open to the public Monday – Friday from 10:00-3:00. This is also a great place for a group tour, especially school children, to see how the facility operates and learn more about the varieties of fish. Watch for special times when youngsters can fish at the hatchery.

   The best times to view the hatchery in operation are from April through June. They will begin to get eggs in the hatchery during the month of March. A visit to the Senecaville Fish Hatchery would be a great family experience.

Senecaville Fish Hatchery is located on beautiful Seneca Lake in Guernsey County with easy access from I-77 exit 37. Take OH 313 east about six miles and turn right on OH 574. The hatchery is on the right-hand side.

Ohio’s Scenic Seneca Lake Park Gem of the Appalachians

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

Drifting into a peaceful world is something everyone would hope to do. At beautiful Seneca Lake in the foothills of the Appalachians, this is not only a possibility, but a likelihood.

Senecabille State Fish Hatchery

Senecaville State Fish Hatchery

Created in 1937, Seneca Lake Park in southeastern Ohio is part of the Muskingum Water Conservatory. This dam was originally constructed to contain floods on the Seneca Branch of Wills Creek. Here over 3,550 acres of water are filled with fish, boats, swimmers and fishermen!  The main entrance to the park leads you past the dam and the fish hatchery, which has 37 one-acre ponds.

New water toy at the beachHeaded up over the hill and through the woods, you arrive at the entrance to the beach and picnic area. This is a spot where family reunions have been held for over seventy years  Picnic baskets always overflowed with fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and homemade pie or cake during those long ago reunions. The shady picnic area made for an inviting place for moms and dads to visit while the children enjoyed the playground or swam at the nearby beach. An awesome water toy installed in 2013 provides a special place for the young ones to play

Many call this their summer home, as cabins are frequent along the shores. Boat docks are placed nearby home locations, since most campers want the pleasure of drifting on the waters for a relaxing get-away. There are a wide variety of homes in this rural area ranging from small cabins to elegant residences.

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

But perhaps you would rather rough it a little and stay in your camper or even your tent. There are 513 campsites available if you prefer getting back to nature. Some of those tent sites are located near the beach. If you are wanting a vacation from cooking as well, The Dockside Restaurant at the entrance to the campground provides delicious food with the choice of dining inside, or perhaps on the deck overlooking the lake..

The Bar where friends meet

The Bar where friends meet

If you are going out for the day, you might want to rent a canoe or kayak at Ray’s for a reasonable daily rate. Then you can guide yourself into the many coves, or float around the island where many  stop for a picnic or party. There is a second swimming area called “The Bar”, where boats are anchored while children and adults jump overboard and enjoy cooling off in the fresh water lake.

Water skiing is another popular summer time activity. One young man didn’t quite make the attempted turn and landed in the lake. When he climbed back on the boat, he was alarmed to find a blue gill in his swimming trunks. His friends won’t let him forget that story.

Seneca Lake, the third largest inland lake in Ohio, is definitely a Gem in the Appalchian area.

Seneca Lake Park is located approximately thirteen miles south of Cambridge off I-70. Take exit  #37 to Buffalo and Senecaville and proceed straight ahead at the four way stop in Senecaville. The main entrance to the park it just a few miles down the road on the right hand side. Watch for signs!

Buffalo Hills Resort Welcomes Native American Pow Wow

Native Americans are proud of their heritage as was witnessed at the gathering of tribes near Senecaville, Ohio at Buffalo Hills Resort.  Indian Pow Wows join together tribe members  for dancing, singing, socializing, and most of all, honoring their Indian culture. This seemed like the “real thing” as Native Americans congregated for their own enjoyment, not just entertainment. Any lessons learned by White Man were considered a bonus.

Did you ever taste Frybread? Native Americans will often remark, “Frybread is the story of our survival.”  Over a hundred years ago when the US forced Indians to take “The Long Walk” from Arizona to New Mexico, they nearly starved in their new landscape. To keep them from starving, the US government gave them flour, sugar, and lard – the makings of frybread, which later led to various health problems. At the Pow Wow, authentic Indian food was served by concessions and Frybread was delicious either served as the base for an Indian Taco, or covered with sugar and cinnamon. Also on the menu were Buffalo Burgers and Gator Nuggets on a Stick, with Snowballs for dessert.

Native costumes caught the eye of visitors as Indian maidens seemed to float over the ground with their smooth movements.  Delicate woodland flowers and vines added beauty to the deerskin dresses, as did the unusual jewelry made with the help of Mother Nature. Necklaces and bracelets were designed from acorns, spices, dried corn and seeds. This beautiful maiden was called Gentle Dove and said to be a Messenger for Love and Peace.

A circle of baled hay made a comfortable place to observe the Indians’ presentations. In the afternoon an entertaining storyteller told traditional Indian legends, most of which centered around animals.  All their stories have special meaning, and hopefully an effect on the listeners. The story of a Snake taught children to beware of wild animals, while the adventures of Bear and Rabbit with Buzzard described why Buzzard has a deep mark on his face to this day.

John Red Deer filled the spot of medicine man for the day with his extensive knowledge of herbs for healing. While there were many interesting items in his display, the popular 7 Grandfathers All Purpose Salve topped the list. As you can see from the sign, it can be used for many different ailments as well as a detox. John Red Deer feels inspired to make this in cream, liquid for detox, and even in stick form to carry with you for cuts and bites.

Peppermint and Spearmint form the base of this magical salve plus seven other herbs, which he feels he will reveal soon so others can carry on his work. Plants are harvested as he is guided by the voice of Spirit, and later the herb combination is brewed during the Summer Solstice.  This time of solar and lunar infusion gives the perfect blending of the herbs. A severe storm this year, while he was making the salve, produced two hours of intense energy, which John Red Deer felt increased the strength and effectiveness of that salve. His plans are to make a medicinal soap in the near future.

With the drums and flutes of Southern Pine in the center of the circle, the evening dance was a pleasure to watch.  Leading the procession of dancers were Native Americans carrying the USA flag, an MIA flag, as well as their traditional eagle staff with an eagle head on the top. The opening prayer was given first in Choctaw language, followed by English.

Songs were sung to relatives who had passed on to another world and veterans were honored with the blowing of the eagle whistle. Beautiful dresses filled the center and individual dances were performed.  The Jingle Dress glistened in the sunlight and jingled to the beat of the drums.

To close the evening, couples did a Potato Dance with a potato held between their foreheads as they constantly moved to the music. The last couple to keep the potato from dropping to the ground was the winner of a small monetary prize.

Find an Indian Pow Wow in your area to attend so you, too, can learn of the American Indian traditions. While sometimes stories are heard about the Indian attacks long ago, they basically wanted to be peaceful people and enjoy their style of life in the quiet of their homes.  Imagine sitting in the woods with the drums beating, chants filling the air, and the Spirit surrounding you. That’s the way life is meant to be!

Buffalo Hills Resort encompasses over 300 acres in southeastern Ohio making it one of Ohio’s largest campgrounds. Campers have their choice of primitive camping, parking for their RV, as well as cabin or perhaps teepee rental.  While it isn’t far from the interstate, it is definitely peaceful country and near Seneca Lake. Leaving I-77, take exit 37 to the East  (State Route 313) until you come to the four-way stop at Senecaville.  Make a right hand turn on State Route 285  then shortly a left at the fork on State Route 566, also called Opossum Run Road. After a couple miles, campers will find Buffalo Hills Resort on the left hand side.  

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