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Dow Lake

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Dow Lake is a Reservoir in Athens, Ohio.

Have you fished Dow Lake? Help your fellow anglers out by giving a fishing report, some fishing tips or general information about Dow Lake.

Do you have a question about Dow Lake, ask it here.

The dam creating Dow Lake was completed in 1960. The land and water area is owned and managed by the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation for recreational purposes. The topography includes steep hills, open fields, and woodland. The lake encompasses 171 acres at normal pool with a shoreline length of 6.4 miles. The maximum depth is 33 feet.

Fishing Description: 

Dow Lake has populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill. The ODNR Division of Wildlife stocks channel catfish yearlings in alternate years. Catchable rainbow trout are stocked annually in the spring. Gizzard shad is the main forage species.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Better largemouth bass fishing can be found in the spring and fall. As springtime water temperatures warm up, bass will move into shallow water areas to feed and to prepare for spawning. Fish near shallow structure such as tree stumps, fallen trees or weed bed edges. Spinner baits, rubber worms, crankbaits, and jig/pig combinations work well.

Warm summer water temperatures will usually push fish into deeper depths. Fishing during the early morning hours or in the evening will provide better results. Cooler, fall temperatures will trigger bass to move back in the shallow water areas. Fishing success may pick up as bass prepare for winter.

Bluegill can be caught throughout the lake from early spring until fall. Popular methods include waxworms or redworms fished below a bobber. Look for spawning beds in shallow water during the spring and throughout the summer. Many bluegill can be found concentrated in these areas.

Channel catfish angling picks up by mid-June. Night crawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits work well when fished on the bottom. Night fishing for catfish is a popular method for catfish anglers.

Early spring trout anglers enjoy success using a variety of baits such as corn, cheese, small spinners, or prepared baits.

Recreational Activities: 

Designated camping areas, picnicking, and a beach are also located off the County Road 20 entrance. A number of hiking trails are provided. Hunting is permissible in designated areas.


Camping is available at

Strouds Run State Park
Location: 11661 State Park Road
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 592-2302 or 1-866-644-6727 for camping and getaway rental reservations

The Park includes:

78 non-electric sites
Latrines, waste drains, picnic tables and fire rings are provided
10 sites are available for campers with pets
Group camp area is available for organized groups on a reservation basis

Boat Ramp: 

A boat ramp is located off the County Road 20 (Stroud’s Run Road) entrance. A courtesy dock is located near the ramp. Shore access near the dam is provided off the U.S. Route 50 entrance.


Dow Lake has a 10-horsepower limit for outboard motors.


Wildlife District Four,
360 East State Street,
Athens, Ohio 45701
Telephone 740-589-9930.

Directions to Lake: 

Dow Lake is located within the 2,767-acre Stroud’s Run State Park. This public area is in Canaan Township, Athens County, approximately two miles east of Athens. Dow Lake is accessible off County Road 20 (Stroud’s Run Road). Dam access is located off U.S. Route 50.

Dow Lake
Waterbody type: 
United States
Standard elevation: