Pond Lick Lake and CCC Camp Shawnee No. 1

The first of seven Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps to call Shawnee Forest home, CCC Camp Shawnee No. 1 was located on Pond Lick Run, a tributary of Turkey Creek. The enrollees who called this camp home built what became first known as "Shawnee Lake," and what is now more commonly called, "Pond Lick Lake."

Once popular with swimmers, who drove out from Portsmouth, it is now -- thanks to the Division of Wildlife's stocking of channel catfish and bluegill -- a favorite spot for area anglers. After the original CCC shutdown in the early 1940s, the camp would be utilized by the state as a year-round work camp for well-behaved convicts and, then, in the 1970s, the camp became home to a revived, state-level Civilian Conservation Corps.

Today, the stone chimney of the old Officer's Quarters stands on the ridge, overgrown and hidden from view. The flat bottoms of Pond Lick Run, where the barracks once stood and a recreational field had been laid out, are now overgrown with grass and scrub; the old Shawnee Lake, recently restored and improved, is now stocked with catfish and bluegill through the Sportfish Restoration Program.

"When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies." According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, "these funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth, and secure and develop boat access."

Shawnee State Forest -- past and present -- continues to be shaped by Federal conservation programs and collaborations between state agencies remain the key to "saving Shawnee."

Sources: "Fish Stocked at Roosevelt and Pond Lick Lakes," Wildlife News, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (4 May 2015).