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Clear Fork Reservoir

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Clear Fork Reservoir is one of Ohio's premier muskie lakes. However, in recent weeks largemouth bass and crappie have provided the most angling ... Continued

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Clear Fork Reservoir is a Reservoir in Richland, Ohio.

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Clear Fork Reservoir was completed in 1949. The city of Mansfield constructed this 971-acre reservoir as a water supply lake.

Fishing Description: 

Clear Fork Reservoir has a very good muskellunge population. It is one of only eight Ohio reservoirs stocked with muskellunge. Clear Fork also has populations of largemouth bass, black and white crappie, bluegill, white bass, and channel catfish. Gizzard shad is the main forage species.

Fishing Cover / Structure: 

Clear Fork Reservoir has a gently sloping bottom with a maximum depth of 24 feet. The upper end is shallow with numerous tree stumps. Several islands characterize the mid-lake area while the lower end is deeper and open.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Muskellunge are taken by trolling or casting large crank baits, wobbling lures, spinner baits, spoons, and jerk baits with wire leaders.

Largemouth bass are taken on diving and surface lures, plastic worms, jigs, and live worms around fallen trees and stumps.

Bluegill anglers using redworms and wax worms have good catches around fallen trees and along drop-offs. Small spinners and jigs are also effective for bluegill and other panfish.

Live minnows and small plastic grub jigs are good for crappies near the shoreline brush and fallen trees, and along shorelines with submerged cover.

White bass are taken with jigs, crank baits, and live minnows. Look for white bass in the upper reservoir during the spring and in open areas during the rest of the year.

Channel catfish are taken on nightcrawlers, soft craws, chicken livers, and cut baits along shoreline areas.

Recreational Activities: 

Hunting for small game, deer and turkey is permitted along the north and west shoreline. Waterfowl hunting is permitted in six boat blinds in the reservoir on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunters must check in at the marina. Muzzleloaders are not permitted to be used, but crossbow, longbow, and shotguns are permitted. Trapping for all furbearer species is permitted except beaver.

Facilities and Parks: 

The city of Mansfield provides numerous recreational opportunities on and around Clear Fork Reservoir. There are three picnic areas with access to the lake located along the south side of the reservoir.

Shore fishing is only allowed along the south and west shorelines from the Orewiler Road bridge to a point 1000 feet upstream of the dam. There are no motor size restrictions, but an 8 mph speed limit is enforced by the city of Mansfield.

Boat Ramp: 

An improved boat ramp, for public use, and marina are located on the south side of the reservoir just east of Bowers Road. No fee is charged for launching boats.


Wildlife District Two,
952 Lima Ave.,
Findlay, Ohio 45840;
Telephone (419) 424-5000.

Directions to Lake: 

Clear Fork Reservoir is located in Richland and Morrow counties,approximately 8 miles southwest of Mansfield along State Route 97.

Clear Fork Reservoir
Waterbody type: 
United States
Standard elevation: