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Washington County’s Veto Lake provides people and wildlife a place for solitude

Photo by Art Smith Veto Lake is located near Ohio 339 and Veto Road. A ramp on Veto Road, provides boats up to 10 horsepower access to the lake.

DUNHAM TOWNSHIP — Veto Lake, Washington County’s only public lake, offers people a spot to view wildlife, picnic or even fish for a variety of species.

The 160-acre lake, located just east of Ohio 339 on Veto Road in Dunham Township, has six miles of shoreline and was designed in 1954 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to provide recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing and trapping in Washington County.

“It’s important to have lakes like this in Ohio to fulfill our mission to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all,” said Lindsay Rist, Wildlife Communications Specialist for the ODNR.

The lake is home to a variety of fish. “Yearling channel catfish are stocked every other year in the fall” said Rist. “The last stocking was in 2016, so the next will be in 2018. These are an 8 to 12-inch fish and are stocked at 25 fish per acre. Other fish that can be found in the lake include largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and some redear sunfish.”

Boats on the lake are limited to 10 horsepower, and can access the lake via a ramp off of Veto Road, a mile east of Ohio 339. The limit tends to make the lake a quiet, peaceful place, which not only encourages wildlife, but also makes it a popular spot for kayakers and canoeist to explore the different fingers of the man-made lake.

Photo by Art Smith Five turtles sun themselves on a fallen log in Veto Lake.

Geese, great blue heron and sandpipers are all common at the lake as are beavers and turtles, which can often be found sunning on a fallen log.

Hunting and trapping opportunities are also available around the lake. “Waterfowl hunting is probably the most popular, but people do also hunt deer, squirrel, and turkeys there, there have been drawings in the past for beaver trapping,” said Rist.

The lake is named after the nearby community of Veto, which was established in 1850. Veto was named in honor of pioneer Ephraim Cutler’s role is drafting legislation preventing slavery in Ohio. The measure passed by one vote and thus prevented Ohio from being a slave state.

Photo by Art Smith Four goslings keep watch near the lake.

Photo by Art Smith A sandpiper sits on a root along the shore of the lake.

Photo by Art Smith The creeks that feed the lake are popular destinations for kayaking and canoeing.

Photo by Art Smith A sandpiper flies past a much larger goose near one of the creeks that feed the lake.

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