Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District

Our Mission
To meet the needs of natural resource users by making available and coordinating technical, financial, and educational resources to conserve soil, water, and related natural resources.
Ohio Fish Species Checklist

This printable checklist tells allows you to keep track of the date and location when you first caught each fish species in Ohio.  The checklist identifies whether the species is endangered, threatened, or species of concern.  If it is classified under any of these categories then the fish is to be immediately released back into the water.  Other classifications are: Sportfish, Common or Invasive.   Please do not release invasive species back into our waters.


Ticks in Ohio

Below are the ticks found in Ohio that pose a threat to humans. Lyme disease typically takes 36-48 hours for disease transmission to occur but has been known to happen sooner.  Monitor the tick bite site for a few days after removal.  If you are unable to identify the tick you can take the tick to your local health department for identification.

American Dog Tick

Blacklegged Tick (deer tick)

Lone Star Tick

Jackson County Reptiles
Below is a list of reptiles that can be found in Jackson County Ohio, this list may not include every species found here due to a lack of current records of it being here.  If you do find a species that is not on the list please feel free to submit a picture of the reptile, location, and what habitat you found it in and we will add it to our list.  


Currently in Ohio there are only three species of reptiles that are venomous.  All three species are snakes, and all three are in the pit viper family.  While they range in size and toxicity, all three are capable of inflicting damage to humans with their venom.  Although they are dangerous to humans, they are seldom aggressive unless threatened or cornered.  The best thing to do when encountering these beautiful creatures is to keep your distance and do NOT try to handle the snake!
Massasauga Rattlesnake

NOT Found in Jackson County, OH
Timber Rattlesnake

Found in Jackson County, OH
Northern Copperhead

Found in Jackson County, OH
Also known as a swamp rattler, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake is a small snake that ranges 18-24" in length. Can be found in wetland areas and swamps. This snake is very docile and seldom strikes unless provoked or cornered.  Even though this snake has highly toxic venom, the typical bite does not deliver enough quantity to be lethal.  This is still a dangerous snake and should be treated with caution.  Can be identified by the small rattle, gray body and dark spots along body. Do not try to handle this snake.
Timber rattlesnakes have a very painful bite and is often considered the most dangerous snake in northeastern America.  It can get up to nearly 6ft long but most average 40" in length.  Timber rattlesnakes have two basic color phases: yellow which has chevron shapes along the body and black phase has dark chevrons along a black scaled body.  It is VERY DANGEROUS and should be treated with caution. Typically occupies a variety of habitats along wooded hillsides. While this beautiful animal is capable of inflicting serious harm on humans it is still very docile and would choose to retreat before attack.  Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Please do not try to handle this snake.
While the copperhead bite rarely results in death due to low amount of venom injected, It is still VERY DANGEROUS and should be treated with caution.  Ranges 24-36" long with a copper colored head with hourglass shapes along the body.  Typically occupies a variety of habitats along rocky hillsides and can be seen after warm rains crossing the steaming roads.  While this beautiful animal is capable of inflicting serious harm on humans it is still very docile and would choose to retreat before attack.  Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Please do not try to handle this snake.

It is difficult to estimate the age of a rattlesnake by counting the number of rattles at the end of the tail.  A new segment develops each time the snake sheds its skin.  Timber rattlesnakes shed 8 times in their first 4 years and then continue shedding once per year thereafter.  In addition, old segments are occasionally lost.

Eastern Musk Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle
2" - 4" average length
Two distinct yellow lines on head and neck
Secretes foul smelling fluid giving them the name "stinkpots".
Strongly aquatic rarely seen out of water.
Prefers sluggish streams or slow moving water in lakes and ponds.
4.5" - 6" average length
Has a dark shell with yellow streaks or blotches.  Has a hinged plastron so they can "box" themselves in for protection.
Found in Woodlands throughout Ohio spends most of its time under rotten logs and decaying leaves and debris.
Midland Painted Turtle
Snapping Turtle
4.5"-5.5" average length
not uncommon for individuals to grow much larger.  Can be seen basking on logs overhanging water for quick escape.  Burrows in deep mud at bottom of water during winter months.
8"-14" average length
Ohio's largest turtle
can grow larger than 14" and exceed 35lbs.
Strongly aquatic except for when they are seen crossing roads to lay eggs.
Can be trapped during season.
Caution:  hold by tail well away from body with plastron toward your body.
Eastern Spiny Softshell
5"-9" average length male
7-17" average length female
Often considered a river turtle this softshelled turtle can also be found in lakes and small streams lying still buried on the bottom.  Often caught on hook and line, CAUTION this turtle becomes very aggressive is extremely quick and a great swimmer.
Eastern Fence Lizard
Common Five-Lined Skink
5" - 8.5" average length
Skinks are very fast when encountered and will dart for cover.  The juveniles is black bodied with 5 yellow lines from snout to vent with an electric blue tail.  The adult male looks similar but the blue tail is faded.  The female is olive brown but still has 5 lines from snout to vent. Tail will break off if grabbed, will grow back but not as brightly colored.  When handled amost always bites but teeth are to small to penetrate skin.
4"- 7.25" average length
Can be found in dry wooded hillsides and rocky cliffs. They are fast and excellent climbers. When encountered will flee to the opposite side of tree.
Males have a blue patch on their chin and on their bellies.  
Midland Brownsnake
Northern Brownsnake
Common Watersnake
24" - 32" average length
Banded pattern along its body.
Almost always found near water where it can be seen basking on rocks or branches.  Watersnakes
 usually flee when first encountered, but if provoked can become quite aggressive. Will bite wildly and can cause deep cuts and pain.  NON-VENOMOUS 
8"-12" average length
Both have two rows of dark spots along down the back. 
Never bite when captured their only defense is musk glands secreting a foul smelling fluid.
These harmless snakes can be seen among debris and near foundations of homes feeding on insects.
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
24" - 36" average length
This harmless snake when first encountered will flatten its neck like a cobra, inflates its body and strikes wildly with its mouth closed and far short of the target. After this fails the hognose flips over with its mouth open and tongue out and deficates.  If turned upright it will flip back over.  Has upturned snout for digging up toads.
7" - 10" average length
Plain brownish snake similar to brownsnake but without the dark markings.  Has white or yellowish belly. Has small black dots on its back.
Harmless snake that is seldom seen spending most of its time under flat stones and similar objects.
Eastern Wormsnake
Midwestern Wormsnake
Northern Ring-necked Snake
8" - 10" average length
Closely resembles an earthworm hence the name wormsnake.  Prefers moist soils where it spends its time under stones, logs and other debris.  This snake is harmless and does not bite but will put your hand with its head and its tail has a pointed tip that can poke you but is harmless.
10" - 16" average length
Like there name implies, these snakes have a yellow to orange ring around their necks.  Dark bodied with a yellow to orange belly.  Harmless and spends most time under logs and stones waiting for night to feed on insects. 
Eastern Ratsnake
Northern Black Racer
42" - 72" average length
Ohio's largest snake with a maximum length of eight feet.
An excellent climber and can be seen in the trees high in the canopy taking advantage of woodpecker holes and other cavaties. Eats rodents and birds.  Black bodied with markings between the scales.
Docile when encountered.
36" - 60" average length
Has a dark black body white a silver gray belly. Moves up to 8 to 10 mph.  Nervous snake that will flee if it can. If provoked may be aggressive.  While rise in the air cobra like and watch the intruder until it feels its safe to escape. Eats rodents, other snakes, birds and eggs.
Eastern Milksnake
Eastern Black Kingsnake
36" - 48" average length
A beautifully marked snake with a dark black body with mottled yellow along the sides and a yellowish belly.
Their diet includes small mammals, birds, lizards, and small snakes including native venomous species.  Kingsnakes have an immunity to normal quantities of venom from Northern Copperheads, and both the Timber and Massasauga Rattlesnakes.
24" - 36" average length
Has blotches down the back and sides with V behind the head.  The belly has a checkerboard pattern on it.
Harmless snake that will remain motionless or flee if given chance. If provoked will strike but cannot puncture skin. 
Eats rodents which is why it is seen in livestock barns searching for mice eating livestock feed. 
Eastern Gartersnake
Rough Greensnake
18" - 24" average length
often dark bodied with three yellow stripes. One down the back and one down each side.  Theses stripes are typically yellow but can vary in color from green, brown, or blue.  These lines can also be rows of spots.  Can be seen basking in the open grass or feeding on insects to newborn mice.
24" - 30" average length
Like the name implies these snakes are all green except a light colored belly and chin.  They are arboreal and spend the majority of their time in bushes or trees.  They feed on insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, catepillars, and ants.
Northern Red-bellied Snake

Common Ribbonsnake

8" - 10" average length
has a dark to light brown body with 3 light colored blotches behind the head.  Has a distinct red orange belly.  Very secretive prefers wet soils where slugs and grubs are abundant.  Will curl its lip to show off its tiny teeth but is harmless.
18" -24" average length
Ribbonsnakes and gartersnakes are often confused for one another.  Ribbonsnakes have a much longer tail that accounts for 1/4 to 1/3 its total length. 
Diet includes small fish, salamanders, frogs, tadpoles, toads.  Can be seen near wetlands or bodies of water. 
Jackson County Amphibians
Below is a list of amphibians that can be found in Jackson County Ohio, this list may not include every species found here due to a lack of current records of it being here.  If you do find a species that is not on the list please feel free to submit a picture of the amphibian, location, and what habitat you found it in and we will add it to our list.  
Fowler's Toad
American Toad
2" - 3.5" average length common from urban backyards to remote woodlands.  In spring, they congregate in large numbers in almost all available shallow breeding ponds. They tend to have 1-3 warts in each of the dark dorsal spots.  Chest and belly are usually spotted with a dark pigment.  Their song is a musical trill lasting six to thirty seconds.
2" -3" average length
They have a single dark spot on the chest and belly.  There are no greatly engorged warts on the thighs.  Their song is an unmusical nasal w-a-a-a-h
lasting from one to four seconds.  Very similar to the American Toad, but the Fowler's prefers more sandy habitat.  The two species crossbreed within their range.
Eastern Cricket Frog
Mountain Chorus Frog
0.625" - 1.5" average length
Inhabit shores of sparsely vegetated permanent ponds and streams.  Similar in size to the chorus frog, but has warty skin and a dark triangle between the eyes.  Color is influenced by its surroundings, so there is much variation in color and pattern.  Their call consists of a series of sharp clicking notes similar to the sound of someone tapping two marbles together rapidly.
1" - 1.25" average length
Very similar in appearance to the spring peeper, but has two dark, curved stripes on the back which look like reversed parentheses, sometimes farming a crude "X" or "H". Usually bears a dark triangle between the eyes and a white line on the upper lip. 
Spring Peeper
Western Chorus Frog
0.75" - 1.25" average length
Although small, it has a shrill, birdlike peep or whistle which can be heard for a surprisingly great distance. Easily identified by the prominent dark "X" marking on its back and by its characteristically rounded tree-frog toe pads.  Spend the summer hiding among the shrubs in moist woodlands.
0.75" - 1.5" average length
Their call resembles the sound made by rubbing one's finger over the teeth of a dard plastic comb. Usually there are three distinctive dark stripes on the back extending from the nose across the eyes and along the length of the body.  Seldom seen after the breeding season probably because they retreat deep into the mud to escape the heat of summer.
Gray Treefrog
Cope's Gray Treefrog
American Bullfrog
1.25' - 2"  average length
Lives in trees and shrubs, change colors from gray-green to a light pearl-gray, depending on the background. A light-colored spot on each sie of the hea, just beneath the eyes, does not change color. The inside surface of the thighs is bright yellow.  Well developed sticky adhesive toe discs enable it to climb rapidly. 

3.5" - 6" average length
The call of a male bullfrog can be heard reverberating from ponds, marshes, and large slow moving streams from late April through late summer.  Males and females are distinguished from each other by the size of their eardrum. Females have eardrums about the size of their eyes; males are much larger. It's diet includes crayfish, insects, mice, small snakes, turtles, and other frogs.
Northern Green Frog
Pickerel Frog
1.75" - 3" average length
Similar in appearance to the northern leopard frog but is smaller in size. Typically has light brown skin with two rows of dark square blotches down the back.  The underside of the hind legs are typically yellow to orange colored. Prefers cool and clear waters and streams.  Its skin secretions are reported to be somewhat toxic.
2.25" - 3.5" average length
Similar in appearance to the bullfrog but is smaller and has two very pronounced ridges down the back.  Its call sounds like the plucking of a banjo string.  Very aquatic rarely seen far from water source.
Northern Leopard Frog
Wood Frog
2" - 3.5" average length
Lives in a variety of wet habitats from wet grasslands to lakes. During the summer they can be found in tall grass meadows.  They are typically green bodie with dark circular spots along its body. The male's call is a low grunting like the sound produced by rubbing your thumb over a balloon.
1.5" - 2.75" average length
It is brown, tan or pinkish with a dark mask across its eyes. It prefers woodlands and even hibernates on land beneath leaf litter where it survives partial freezing of its tissues. Their call is a series of five or six explosive clucking notes.
Common Mudpuppy
Red-Spotted Newt
8"- 13" average length
Have broad flattened head, a distinctive squarish snout, tiny inconspicuous eyes, and bushy red gills. These amphibians are harmless and are nocturnal inhabiting large rivers, streams and deep muddy waters feeding on crayfish, aquatic insects or anything they can scavenge.  Reach maturity at 5 years of age.
3"- 4" average length
Three to four months after hatching, larva move to land in the red eft stage. It has a dry red-orange rough skin with a rounded tail. The skin glands produce an irritating secretion.  In its thrid year of life, the newts skin becomes slimy and turns olive green.  Its tail becomes broad and wedge shaped.
Jefferson Salamander
Streamside Salamander
4.5" - 7" average length
Looks somewhat like the spotted salamander species but without the yellow spots.  It has long toes and younger specimen have a sprinkling of small sliver and blue specks along its sides. It is very secretive and seldom seen except in early spring when it enters shallow woodland breeding ponds.
4.5"- 5.5" average length
Looks almost identical to the small-mouthed salamander.  It prefers to breed in headwater streams lacking predatory fish where it will lay its eggs on the undersides of rocks singly.  It is often seen cruising roads to enter streams in February and March.
Marbled Salamander
Spotted Salamander
3.5" - 4.5" average length
One of the more distinctively marked salamanders. Males have bright white bands on a black body. Rare individuals may lack the white bands.  Found in a variety of habitats from dry wooded slopes to moist sandy areas and are fond of hiding under rocks and logs on wooded slopes.
6" - 7.75" average length
They are seldom see except in early spring because of their secretive nature and their love for tunneling underground.  Active only at night.  It is large and has two irregular rows of yellow or greenish-yellow spots.
Southern Two-lined Salamander
Long-tailed Salamander
2.5" - 3.75" average length
They are very abundant and easy to find, but extremely difficult to catch and hold.  It has two dark lines, one on either side of its bright yellow or golden brown back. They prefer small rocky woodland streams as well as springs and seeps.
4" - 6.5" average length
Has a distinctive long tail that accounts for more than half the total length of a mature adult.  For the most part, they are restricted to heavily wooded, hilly regions.  They are most often found hiding under stones or logs.
Northern Dusky Salamander
Eastern Red-backed Salamander
2.5" - 4.5" average length
Easily recognized by light-colored line which extends from the back corner of the eye diagonally downward to the back corner of the mouth and by its hind legs which are conspicuously larger than the front. Other coloration and body markings are extremely variable.  Found under rocks and similar debris in woodland brooks, springs, and seepage areas.
2.25" - 3.625" average length
Small, slender salamander with three distinct color phases. In the the red-striped phase, a broad reddish-brown stripe bordered by dark pigment runs down its back.  In the leadback phase, the body is dark gray or gray-black. The red phase is only found in northern Ohio. It is most often seen in early spring beneath rocks and logs.  The salamander is entirely land-dwelling and usually will not go to water.

Northern Ravine Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander
3" - 4.5" average length
Frequently encountered in spring and fall, but seldom seen in midsummer when it buries itself deep in the substrate. Prefers moist slopes of wooded ravines where it hides beneath rocks, logs and leaf litter.  It looks very similar to the leadback phase of the red-backed salamander but differs on the belly where the ravine has a solid dark belly, not mottled light specks.
4.75" - 6.75" average length
This salamander is named for its slimy skin secretions when handled.  This slime is harmless but does look like a dark dry film on your hands that is difficult to get off. This salamander likes to hide under or in rotting logs and stumps.  It is land-dwelling, but prefers damp habitats. 
Midland Mud Salamander
Four-toed Salamander
3.5" - 6" average length
Most often encountered under large, flat stones along shallow, sluggish wooldland streams, springs, and seeps. Easily confused with the northern red salamander, which is heavily mottled with dark spots and a yellow iris.  The midland mud salamander has a brown iris and a few dark spots. 
2" - 3" average length
Just like the name suggests this salamander has four toes on each foot and is readily identified by its snowy white belly, boldly speckled with black. It typically lives close to boddy woodland ponds and swamps where it hides beneath moss, logs, rocks, slabs of bark and leaf litter.
Northern Red Salamander
4.25" - 6" average length
Stands out from other red-colored salamanders because of its distinctive, bright yellow-gold iris and stout body. Adults are usually a striking bright red with scattered black dots, but old specimens are less brightly colored, often somewhat purplish. They can be located under logs, moss, and rocks in and around cold, clean springs and adjacent brooks.