This large, diverse, horseshoe-shaped wetland complex consists of Pymatuning Reservoir, Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area, Pymatuning Wildlife Refuge, and SGL 214 - Hartstown Swamp. Pymatuning Reservoir (also called Pymatuning Lake) was created in 1934 by flooding a former boreal swamp. The Upper Lake (east of the spillway) is maintained at a steady level, about 14 feet at the deepest. The Lower Lake extends into Ohio and is heavily used for recreation. An upland area adjacent to SR 285 contains several small ponds and extensive fields. Hartstown Swamp begins at the terminus of the Upper Lake and extends as a line of marsh and forested swamp south along the Shenango River, through Hartstown and Crooked Creek.

Directions: From Rt. 6 in Linesville, follow SR 3011 south into the northern portion of the complex.

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Ornithological Summary

This area supports one of the largest concentrations of nesting Bald Eagles in the state, with at least four pairs regularly occurring. Migratory waterfowl concentrate in "Sanctuary Lake," the Pymatuning Wildlife Refuge. Thousands of geese, ducks and swans are found in fall and winter. Swampy wetlands support the state's largest population of Prothonotary Warbler. Open marshes host the state's only regular nesting locations for Black Tern.

Conservation Issues

There is a critical threat to the area from the introduction of non-indigenous fauna/flora. Carp populations threaten biotic diversity and have altered the vegetation in Sanctuary Lake. Disturbance from recreational watercraft has reduced the value of the Lower Lake for wildlife. This wetland complex is maintained by the PA Game Commission for wildlife and hunting. The Upper Lake is a wildlife refuge with no entry permitted.

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