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  • Doug Hershman

"Why LaDue Reservoir Should be Your Next Place to Kayak "

Updated: Apr 4

A young man in a kayak on LaDue Reservoir.
A beautiful night to be on the water.

Description of LaDue Reservoir 

LaDue Reservoir is located in Geauga County approximately 30 miles from downtown Cleveland. It is a man-made lake that was formed by the damming of two creeks which are tributaries of the Cuyahoga River. The construction of the dams was completed in 1962, resulting in the creation of a 1,477-acre lake with 24 miles of shoreline. The reservoir serves as a part of the Akron Water Supply, offering flood control and water supply for the Cuyahoga River.

The lake is divided by the route 422 causeway. The southside of the lake is characterized by its shallower depth, averaging 9-12 feet, while the northside is deeper, with an average depth of 15-20 feet. The deepest spot, reaching 24 feet, is situated close to the dam on the north side. The north side tends to be slightly cooler, with a wider width of almost a mile, whereas the south side is narrower and features more islands, bays, and coves.


Managed and monitored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, LaDue Reservoir features a diverse fish population including Bass, Crappie, Pike, Perch, and award-winning Catfish. Its bottom topography, which includes undulations and deeper holes, provides ample hiding spots for fish, making it an ideal location for angling enthusiasts. 

Birding At LaDue

LaDue Reservoir is a popular hotspot for bird watchers. It attracts a wide variety of species, particularly migratory birds during the spring and fall seasons. Recognized as one of the top 10 best places for birding in Northeast Ohio, the lake's rich aquatic life draws waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors. According to the Ohio Ornithological Society, LaDue has been visited by the Tundra Swans and American White Pelicans. Last summer in 2023 (Ohio Ornithological Society, n,d,, para 2) I actually got to see two Pelicans but I could not identify which of the 8 species they belong to.  Some of the best spots to bird are along Valley Road just north of the boathouse. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and bird-watching apps and guides for a rewarding experience. If you do make a good spotting, we would appreciate it if you could stop in the boathouse and share what you saw. Thanks. 

Can I use a gas motor on LaDue Reservoir?

No, sorry, LaDue is an electric only lake. The best part about LaDue Reservoir is how peaceful it is along the shoreline. I contribute the  tranquil atmosphere of LaDue to its  "electric only" policy, which prohibits gas powered speed boats and jet skis, ensuring minimal disruption from wakes. The further you move from the causeway, the quieter the lake becomes. 

Where Can I Launch My Kayak?

There are two boat launches available to launch your kayak or fishing boat. One is on the north side of the lake at the end of East Washington Street in Auburn Township, and the other is on the south side off of Route 44. If you are launching a fishing boat, you must have your gas motor out of the water.  You do not have to remove it, but you do have to rely on the electric trolling motors.  Loose gas cans should also be removed from your boat. 


With its serene and undisturbed environment, diverse fish population, and abundant bird-watching opportunities, LaDue Reservoir offers a peaceful and rewarding escape for nature enthusiasts. Whether you're an avid angler, bird watcher, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, LaDue Reservoir is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. Don't miss the chance to experience the natural beauty and tranquility of this beautiful manmade lake.  


Ohio Ornithological Society, (n.d.), Birding at LaDue Reservoir,

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, (n.d.) LaDue Reservoir Fishing Area,

A picture of a shoreline overlooking LaDue Reservoir at sunrise.
Early morning sunrise over LaDue Reservoir.


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