Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 11,794 acres of land, 529 acres of lakes and impoundments and 17 miles of free flowing river.
The area was established in 1956 when three reservoirs in the Pigeon River Valley were given to the state. These included Mongo, Nasby and Ontario. Since then the state has acquired additional land along the river valley.
Registration at the office is not required for scouting, fishing, hiking, mushroom hunting or wildlife watching.
- Property has 17 miles of river, 266 acres of lakes, 263 acres of impoundments and 356 acres of restored open water wetlands.
- Most fishing areas and portions of the Pigeon River are closed during waterfowl seasons. Ask at office for restrictions.
- Primary species include catfish, crappie, bluegill, northern pike, smallmouth bass, redear, largemouth bass, rough fish, trout and yellow perch.
- Boats with electric motors are allowed on lakes and ponds. See map for boat ramp locations.
- Shoreline fishing is available on Beaver Dam Lake, Stayner Lake, Little Stayner Lake, Troxel, Mongo, Nasby and Ontario millponds, Massassauga Marsh, East Pool, Rainbow Pit and Catfish Pond.
- There is a 14-inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass. A 12-inch minimum size limit exists for smallmouth bass on the Pigeon River. All other state size and bag limits apply. See a copy of the current fishing regulations for details.
- Hunting for furbearers, deer, quail, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, dove, pheasant and wild turkey is common.
- Daily registration is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.
- Special hunts include youth waterfowl, daily waterfowl drawings, drawings for turkey hunting and put-and-take pheasant hunts
- Waterfowl drawings are held as needed at 5:30 a.m.
- The first two days of dove season, the drawing is done online (reserved.) Reserved hunters must check-in by 11 a.m. No-show drawings for dove season are done on-site at 11 a.m.
- For all of the spring turkey hunting season, the drawings are done online (reserved.) Reserved hunters must check-in by 5:30 am. No-show drawings for spring turkey hunting are held at 5:30 a.m.
- Put-and-take pheasant hunters may claim their reservation daily 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Portable tree stands may be used and may be left overnight between Sept. 1 and Jan. 10. A fastener used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch is prohibited. A tree stand placed on public land must be legibly marked in English with the owner’s name, address and telephone number.
- Area D is designated for dog training.
- The trapping drawing is held annually at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of October.
- Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details at office.
- Youth hunting/shooting events are available. Ask at office.
- A rifle and archery range is located near the property headquarters.
- Target ranges are open to the public on a first come first serve basis. All shooters must obey range rules and regulations.
- Range is open April through August from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and September through March from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except during waterfowl season , which is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The range is closed on Monday.
- The area is a long narrow property along the flood plain of the Pigeon River. It provides excellent waterfowl watching during the spring migration.
- Tamarack Bog Nature Preserve, Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station, Fawn River State Fish Hatchery and Pokagon State Park are located nearby.
- Seasonal nuts and berries may be gathered from the property. During spring turkey season mushroom hunting is allowed only after 1 p.m. daily.
NO Swimming Allowed.
Please Read and Obey All Signs.
In addition to state fish and wildlife laws, this property is governed by posted regulations affecting the public use of lands and facilities owned, leased or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.
Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting and other restricted areas are marked with appropriate signs. PLEASE READ AND OBEY ALL SIGNS.
Violation of any law, rule or regulation governing this property may be cause for forfeiting your hunting, fishing, or visiting privileges on this area.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, will not be held responsible for any accidents or deaths occurring from the use of these facilities.
In addition to a hunting and/or fishing license the following permits are required:
- Permission to hunt during the day must be obtained before entering the field. Hunting badges or one-day hunting permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter at all times. Bagged game must be checked through the check-in station or recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check-in station. Self-service drop boxes are located throughout the property for your convenience. No shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is allowed.
- Night and predator hunting is only permitted by special permit cards from the property manager.
- A permit from the property manager is required to enter the waterfowl resting areas.
- Dog training is available in Area D only. Sign up and obtain permit at the office in Mongo.
- Collecting permits are required from the property manager or DNR except for nuts, berries and mushrooms.
- Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by state and county laws. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicles, is restricted to walking. Park in designated lots only.