Located six miles southwest of Athens and one mile northeast of Albany, Lake Snowden is a 675-acre recreation park that opened to the public in 1972.
Purchased by Hocking College in 1998, it's home to a variety of wildlife, a Hocking College owned and operated fish hatchery and the annual Pawpaw Festival. And if you enjoy fishing, then Lake Snowden just might be the fishermen's paradise you've been looking for!
Lake Snowden is famous for being one of the most celebrated catfish lakes in Southern Ohio. Fishing enthusiasts will also be able to enjoy the following advantages:
- Fishing is free and open to the public; however, anyone over the age of 16 needs a valid fishing license.
- It's populated with several types of fish, including bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and yellow perch.
Bass measuring 12-15 inches must be immediately returned to the lake. To keep the fish population in balance, fishermen are encouraged to keep bass measuring less than 12 inches.
How has Lake Snowden been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all play areas (such as basketball and volleyball courts) are closed. This includes the shelter houses as well. These steps are part of Hocking College's ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. Hocking College will continue to align its recommendations with the guidelines from the state and local health departments, the Ohio Association for Community Colleges and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Define 'Social Distancing'
In addition to actively washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, the CDC recommends that one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 is by practicing social distancing.
According to the CDC, this practice involves "limiting face-to-face contact with others (as) the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Social distancing, also called 'physical distancing,' means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of the people you live with. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least six feet (about two arms' length) from other people."
Health officials also recommend that when you're in groups of people, whether inside or outside, wearing face masks that cover both your nose and mouth is an effective way of reducing the spread of coronavirus.
More about boating options
Boating on the lake is free and open to the public; however, the Ohio Division of State Parks & Watercraft requires boaters to display valid registration. The lake is also "no wake, idle only," which means that all boats on the lake can only operate at a minimum speed. If you're interested in checking out the local wildlife from a distance or spending a relaxing afternoon out on the lake, you should look into Lake Snowden's boating accommodations.
Those who don't own a boat can rent one. The rental options are for either $8 an hour or $25 a day. Boats that visitors can rent are:
- Paddle Boats
Renters will receive life jackets with their rental.
What fishing safety tips should I follow?
Regardless if you're an experienced fisherman or a newcomer to the sport, you should always remember the following safety tips:
- Always look behind you before casting your fishing pole.
- Don't scatter your fishing tackle or leave it lying around where someone could accidentally step on it.
- Never put your hand deep inside a fish's mouth to remove a hook.
- Always carry a tackle box to keep your hooks and lures safe and organized.
- Don't forget to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Never fish in sandals, flip-flops or your bare feet. Instead, wear shoes designed to prevent your feet from slipping on a wet surface.
- Bring a first-aid kit in case any mishaps occur.
- Dress in layers since the temperature could vary throughout the day.
What boating safety tips should I follow?
Anyone planning to take their boat or a rental boat onto the water should remember the following:
- Never take a boat out without having enough life jackets for everyone on board.
- Become familiar with the area and don't wander into any restricted or low water dam areas.
- Never overload a boat with items you don't need or invite more people than your boat can carry.
- Make sure you know exactly where your fishing gear and first-aid kit can be found.
- Try and remain seated at all times.
- Never drink alcohol or use drugs while operating a boat.