Salt Fork Lake, OH | 3,060 acres | 10 boat ramps | Unlimited HP
Lake Information, Details & State Management
Recreational Activities at Salt Fork
Boats with unlimited horsepower are permitted on the 3,060-acre lake. Combined speed/ski zones are marked by buoys. There are 10 boat launching ramps on the lake.
Boaters may camp on their boats in no-wake zones within fifty yards of shore. Swimming from boats is permitted in designated areas only.
Two marinas include 469 rental docks, comfort stations, gasoline fuel stations, parking facilities, concession areas and a variety of rental boats.
Salt Fork State Park also offers an 18-hole golf course, nine picnic areas with tables and grills, a 2,500-foot swimming beach, and 14 scenic hiking trails.
Salt Fork Lake Location
Located in the hills of southeast Ohio, Salt Fork State Park features a steep and rolling terrain that’s dissected by numerous small streams. The largest stream, Salt Fork Creek, was impounded to create 2,952-acre Salt Fork Lake.
The main entrance is seven miles east of Cambridge on U.S. Route 22. The Salt Fork Wildlife Area lies to the east of the lake.
History of Salt Fork Lake
Salt Fork Lake was born in 1956 when planning for the lake was begun. Originally slated to become a water source for the city of Cambridge, the possibilities to become a major recreation area were so great that in 1960, land acquisition was begun to create a state park.
During lake construction in 1967, trees and shrubs were left standing in many of the embayments, and an artificial reef was constructed on the north branch to provide fish cover. Portions of the shoreline are covered with large boulders which serve as desirable fishing areas.
The earthen dam was completed in 1967, and construction of recreational facilities began in 1968.
Fishing Opportunites, Tips & Forecast
Fish of Interest for Anglers: Largemouth Bass | Smallmouth Bass | White Bass | Walleye | Channel Catfish | Flathead Catfish | Muskellunge | Crappie | Sunfish
Methods of Fishing & Best Fishing Sites
Bass fishing peaks in late April, May, and June, when the fish move to shallow waters. In summer, bass are more likely to be found in deeper waters near drop-offs and deep weed beds, or in the old stream channel, old road beds, or other natural irregularities in the bottom.
June, July, and August are peak months for taking muskies, especially along the south shore near the dam and the north shore between the lodge and beach.
The best fishing for walleye is along the rocky shore area, north of the cabin area, to the southeastern shore toward the dam.
Crappie and sunfish are more readily caught during the months of April, May, and June.
Fishing for catfish provides quality catches from May through October.
Bait & Tackle Shops / Salt Fork Lake Marinas / Places of Interest
A very special THANKS to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, the Division of Wildlife and the Division of Watercraft for their hard work and dedication in providing Ohio sportsmen and women with safety and excellent fishing, hunting and boating opportunities!
Turn In a Poacher (1-800-POACHER)
Ohio’s Turn In a Poacher, or ”TIP” program is helping to curtail poaching throughout the state, by involving the public in reporting wildlife violations. If you observe a wildlife violation, click here and submit the form online or print the form and mail it to:
TIP Headquarters, Division of Wildlife 2045 Morse Rd., Bldg G Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693
Or call the TIP toll-free hotline, 1-800-POACHER.