Bass Lake Habitat
Bass Lake is a natural lake on the Chagrin River. The water level is maintained by a low dam on the Chagrin a short distance downstream of the outlet. The shallow lake lies in an ancient glacial flat and is largely surrounded by extensive wetlands. The sheltering wetlands have protected the lake from shoreline development, resulting in a multitude of exceptional ecological communities.
Today, parts of the lake remain as they must have appeared to early inhabitants of the region. About 90 percent of the shoreline is mantled in trees, shrubs and marsh vegetation.
Bass Lake is an important stopover during the great spring and fall migrations of waterfowl and neotropical songbirds. Bald Eagles nest in the lowland woods near the lake. Beavers ply the swampy tributaries. Native brook trout still swim in small streams that flow into the lake. Wild rice grows in the marshy margins.
The lakeshore forest is characterized by red maple, silver maple, swamp white oak, pin oak and American elm. It is home to wild turkey, Ruffed Grouse, White-tailed Deer, Masked Shrew and Northern Long-eared Bat – species that illustrate a mature, complex ecosystem with significant diversity. Rare nesting birds in Ohio such as the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Dark-eyed Junco also habitually appear here.