Located in southeastern Lancaster County, Octoraro Reservoir is a 650-acre man-made reservoir. The present woodland of second and third-growth deciduous hardwoods include various oaks, hickories, poplars, ashes, and maples. There are also occasional stands of hemlocks and pines on the steep slopes bordering the Octoraro Lake and Creek. There are shallow waters in season, suitable for wading birds and attractive to migrating shorebirds. Octoraro Lake is a municipal reservoir on the designated PA Scenic River Octoraro Creek.

Directions: From Lancaster south on US 22 Quarryville, left on PA 372 to PA 472. Right on PA 472 to Octoraro Lake.

{link:For conservation plan, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/IBA_Consplans/IBA58.pdf}

{link:For fact sheet, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/Sites/Site58.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

Mud flats attract migrating shorebirds and large numbers of migrating swallows. In winter large numbers of waterfowl can be seen. Seven species of owls have been recorded in the pine plantations. Barred Owls and Whip-poor-will are uncommon breeders. Along Octoraro Creek many riparian forest birds may be found including Acadian Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated Vireo, and Cerulean Warbler.

Area is managed for forestry, fisheries and widlife. Public fishing is allowed. Hunting is limited to regulated doe hunt. PA Game Commission assists with managing the area as nesting habitat for migratory birds and Bald Eagle. Bluebird and Wood Duck boxes have been set up along with two Osprey nesting platforms. Conservation efforts are made by the non-profit Octoraro Watershed Association. The Octoraro is a Pennsylvania Scenic River site.

Conservation Issues

Threats to the area include the introduction of non-indigenous plant species as well as the possibility for residential over-development and pollution.


650 acre man-made reservoir.

Land Use

Limited to regulated doe hunt.

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