We have always known we have had lots of ponds in Medina County. You see them everywhere. People who fly over the county have told us that they seem to see more here than anywhere else in Ohio.
So, are we the pond capital of Ohio? Yes, we are! It’s official! The Medina SWCD Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution declaring “Medina County: The Pond Capital of Ohio.”
Related: Pond owners: Plan ahead for dredging
The Medina County Commissioners recently joined the Medina SWCD Board of Supervisors by passing a resolution also declaring “Medina County The Pond Capital of Ohio” during their April 23 weekly business meeting.
Proof in numbers
The board’s declaration is supported by the county GIS system 2004 data. The data reveals over 7,800 impoundments of ponds and lakes in Medina County. Included in the total is the state’s largest natural lake in Ohio, Chippewa Lake, more than 340 acres.
The total acreage for all the bodies of water was 4,884 acres or 2 percent of the county, which averages just over an acre-and-a-half per pond.
Why so many ponds is the next logical question. Our soils are conducive to holding water with our clay content. Dig a hole, throw up a dam and wait for it to rain.
Maybe, but there are other considerations and it is not that easy. Sixty-six of the impoundments are state regulated for their size and downstream potential impacts. With so many ponds in the county, there are many attributes owners enjoy such as fishing, swimming and ice skating.
They also function as sediment traps, filters, water quality improvement, water supply for fire protection and wildlife habitat. The wildlife use of ponds runs the gamut from fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, birds and humans.
One downside to a pond is they are work! Depending on how manicured you want your pond will determine how much effort you need to perform.
Tasks include weed control, building docks or platforms, dredging, maintaining outlet pipes, muskrat and goose control, fish kills, aeration and algae control to name a few. With so many ponds in Medina County, businesses provide products utilized by pond owners and create economic activity.
Things like safety items, fishing supplies, water toys, weed and algae treatments, aerators, nuisance control, pavilions, party supplies, boats, hunting supplies, insurance, etc.
We sometimes are asked, do I have a lake or a pond or when is a lake a lake and a pond a pond? In Ohio, there is no legal description that we ever came across. With so many ponds, townships in Medina County have created zoning for ponds in the form of setbacks from roads and neighbors property lines.
They vary from township to township. Some measure from the toe of the dam, top of the dam, even the waterline. Medina County has a pond permit which is generated under the counties earth disturbance permit which covers anything disturbed more than 5,000 square feet.
Our office handles the pond permits under a 10-acre drainage area. Currently, we oversee the installation of many ponds per year now, but some years ago we may have done as many as 60 a year.
Yes, you probably saw this coming, we are having a pond clinic Wednesday May 16 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Medina Izaak Walton League located at 7085 Friendsville Road, Lafayette Township, Medina.
Speakers will be from the SWCD and AquaDoc discussing weed control, algae issues, aeration etc.
Call 330-722-2628, ext 3. for more information. There is no fee to attend. Next time you travel through Medina County by air or vehicle, keep an eye out for all those ponds.
Jeff Van Loon is the manager of the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District.