About This Reserve
This Ohio reserve was the first freshwater estuary on the Great Lakes in the reserve system. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie, the site features freshwater marshes, swamp forests, a barrier beach, upland forests, and a riparian stream. As one of the few remaining intact examples of a freshwater estuary on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the reserve is a critical spawning and nursery ground for crappie, blue gill, and channel catfish. In times of high water, the estuary is dominated by important aquatic plants like the American water lotus.
The Old Woman Creek Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The site is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Local management of this reserve is provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management, with assistance from local partners. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.