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Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area

Address
8432 N 850 E
Syracuse, IN 46567

Link to this page
on.IN.gov/tricountyfwa

Email
tricountyfwa@dnr.IN.gov

Admission
Free

Time zone
Eastern

Office hours
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. -3 p.m.

Property hours
24/7. Some activities may have specific open times, especially if there is a draw. Please call the property for questions at 574-834-4461.


Description

Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area provides quality outdoor recreational opportunities while maintaining 3,546 acres of land with 650 acres of lakes and impoundments. This area is composed of flat to rolling upland fields and gradual to steep slopes of oak-hickory woodlands, falling off to depressions of wetlands. Tri-County includes 10 natural lakes with water depths of 75 feet.

Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area was established in 1951. By 1953, formal management of the property was underway. In 1963, a dam was constructed at the outlet of six natural lakes, creating Flatbelly Marsh. This wetland serves as an important area for migratory waterfowl, furbearers, shorebirds, and fish.

Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. Funds are also received from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on sport hunting, shooting, and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and fishermen are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

  • Amenities
    • Vault restrooms are located at the shooting range. Indoor restroom facilities are located in the office.
    • A range safety officer is available at the shooting range during hours of operation and an office manager is available during office hours.

Popular activities

  • Fishing
    • Tri-County FWA provides 200 acres of available fishing. View the Where to Fish map for locations on the property.
    • Bass, bluegill, redear, crappie, and northern pike are the major species present.
    • Spear Lake is closed from youth waterfowl season until ice-up.
    • Lakes are limited to electric motors only.
    • Boat ramps are located on following lakes: Shock, Spear, Hammond, Allen, Barrel ½, Price, Wyland, Bass, and Goldeneye.
    • Shoreline fishing is available on Goldeneye Pond and Wyland Pond. View the Fishing Regulations for details.
    • Parking lots are located near all boat ramps.
    • Contact Tri-County FWA (574) 834-4461 for assistance and accessibility information.
  • Hunting
    • Hunting for whitetail deer, eastern wild turkey, squirrel (gray and fox), rabbit, pheasant, crow, game turtles, green frog and bullfrog, and furbearers are common at Tri-County FWA.
    • All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. Daily check-in is required. See Hunting Regulations for details.
    • Turkey hunting is by draw only.  A reserve draw and daily no-show draw are at the office.
    • The office holds waterfowl draws on opening days and as needed.  Otherwise, hunts are by self-service.
    • Dove hunting draws are held on the first three days of the season at 11 a.m. at the office. After the first three days, hunts are by self-service.

    Deer

    • Deer tree stands and ground blinds may be used and left unattended from noon, Sept. 15 through Jan. 10. Tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked in English with either the owner's DNR customer identification number or the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.
    • A fastener used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree or pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch is prohibited (e.g., screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers).
    • Bonus antlerless licenses are not allowed at Tri-County FWA.

    Dove

    • Dove hunting opportunities on the first three days of the season are allocated through an in-person draw.
    • Dove drawings are held at the office location at 11 a.m. Sept. 1-3 only. The property is self check-in Sept. 4 through the end of season.
    • Dove hunting on the first three days starts at noon and ends at 6 p.m. Normal legal hours are observed the rest of the season.
    • The shell limit for dove hunting is 50 and hunters must use NON-TOXIC shot.

    Pheasant

    • Put-and-take pheasant hunting starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with online sign-up starting in September. Doors open at 7 a.m. at the office location and close at 2 p.m. for the reserved put-and-take pheasant hunt.
    • During the put-and-take, only reserved pheasant hunters are allowed to pheasant hunt put-and-take fields. Other hunting activities that are in season are allowed in some units, so please be aware that other hunters could be in these units.
    • Put-and-take hunters are only allowed to hunt pheasants while hunting. The shooting of woodcock, rabbits, etc. while pheasant hunting during the put-and-take is prohibited.
    • Put-and-take hunters may enter the field at 9 a.m. ET and can change fields after 2 p.m.

    Turkey

    • Spring Season
      • Advance registration is required for the wild turkey hunting season.
      • Reserve hunters and standby hunters must be signed in before the assigned draw time of 5:30 a.m. ET.
      • A total of eight hunters are allowed in the field at Tri-County FWA.
      • Hunters must stop hunting at 1 p.m. ET and be out of the field by 2 p.m. ET.
      • No-show drawings for spring turkey hunting are held at the office at 5:30 a.m.
    • Fall season: Hunting is not permitted.

    Waterfowl

    • Drawings for waterfowl hunting will be held on opening weekends at 5:30 a.m. ET.
      • All other times, hunters will use the self-service check-in.
      • The number of hunters per area is restricted.
  • Shooting range
    • The Tri-County FWA shooting range hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
      • January and February: Friday-Sunday  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
      • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
    • The shooting range uses clay targets, 2x 10 yard pistol, 4x 50 yard, and 2x 100 yard stations.
    • Check-in is required. A Range Safety Officer is on site.
    • There is no fee to use the shooting range.
    • Target hangers are provided. Users must bring targets, ammo, and ear and eye protection.
  • Trapping
    • Trapping is available by draw only. A draw is held at the office at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday in October.
    • View statewide trapping regulations in the Hunting & Trapping Guide.
  • Wildlife watching & birding
    • Tri-County FWA’s forest, marsh, grassland, and open water attracts species such as osprey, bald eagle, blue and green heron, sandhill crane, and waterfowl during spring and fall migration.
    • Exercise caution during hunting season.
    • Pisgah Marsh Boardwalk is the best birding site available on the property.

    This property is a stop on the
    Indiana Birding Trail Logo

More activities

  • Biking
    • Bicycling is allowed on all paved and gravel roads that are open to vehicle travel. There are no mountain bike trails and off-road travel is prohibited.
  • Dog running
    • Dog running is allowed in Area B. Check-in is required.
  • Foraging
    • Visitors may collect berries, fruits, nuts, fallen cones, mushrooms, leaves, and greens.
    • Mushroom hunting is not allowed until after 1 p.m. during Turkey hunting season.
  • Hiking & walking
    • Tri-County FWA has two designated trails, Greider Woods Nature Trail and Pisgah Marsh Boardwalk.
    • Exercise caution when using the property during hunting season.
  • Water recreation
    • Tri-County FWA has 650 acres of lakes and impoundments.
    • No fee is required.
    • Swimming is not allowed.
    • All bodies of water remain closed to visitors, except for registered waterfowl hunters, during waterfowl hunting seasons.
  • Volunteering
    • Need a reason to get outside and move? You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Some activities include trash pick-up, invasive plant removal, basic gardening, and more. Call the property office for details.

Map

Other properties managed by this office

  • Big Barbee Wetland Conservation Area is a 3-acre parcel along the southern shore of Big Barbee Lake in Kosciusko County. Hunting is permitted and no check-in is required. All statewide seasons and bag limits apply.
  • Center Lake Wetland Conservation Area is a 25-acre parcel located on the northern outskirts of Warsaw in Kosciusko County. No check-in is required. Wetland trapping is permitted. Limited deer hunting is coordinated by the Warsaw Deer Task Force.
  • Curtis Wetland Conservation Area is a 50-acre parcel on the south branch of the Elkhart River in Noble County. The area is only accessible to the public by the river. All statewide seasons and bag limits apply. No check-in is required.
  • Deniston Resource Area is 365 acres in size with a 65-acre lake (Robinson Lake) in the middle of the property. The property is managed primarily for hunting and fishing with all statewide seasons and bag limits applying. Check-in is not required, and there are no reporting procedures for harvest. Major hunted wildlife species include deer, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, and waterfowl. Two parking lots and a boat launch are provided for public access use. The area is heavily used by mushroom hunters and berry pickers, but other related activities are minimal.
  • Durham Lake Wetland Conservation Area is 521-acre parcel south of the Pisgah Marsh Unit in Kosciusko County. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. Check-in is required.
  • Eagle Lake Wetland Conservation Area is a 137-acre parcel in Noble County. The area features a natural marl bottom lake with 95% undeveloped shoreline. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Goose Lake Wetland Conservation Area is a 40-acre parcel on the southwest side of Goose Lake in Whitley County. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Little Chapman Nongame Area is an 81-acre cattail marsh/bog/upland forest on the west side of Little Chapman Lake in Kosciusko County. Hunting is not permitted.
  • Mallard Roost Wetland Conservation Area is a 760-acre parcel along the south branch of the Elkhart River in Noble County. There are three river access ramps and one access ramp to Diamond Lake. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Mendenhall Wetland Conservation Area is a 96-acre parcel along the south branch of the Elkhart River in Noble County. The property lies south of Mallard Roost WCA and is mostly landlocked with no public access other than the river. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Pisgah Wildlife Management Area Unit 1 is a 129-acre tract in Kosciusko County. This nongame area is only a small portion of a larger wetland complex extending into Noble and Whitley counties. In the spring of 2004, a 1,700-foot boardwalk, viewing deck, parking lot, and restrooms were constructed. No hunting is allowed on the area, with access restricted to the boardwalk. Special access permits can be obtained on a case-by-case basis.
  • Pisgah 2 Wildlife Management Area Unit 2 is a 169-acre tract west of the Pisgah Marsh Unit 1 in Kosciusko County. Waterfowl hunting is allowed on the 9-acre pond located in the center of the property. Check-in is required at the nearby Durham Lake Unit 1. All other hunting opportunities are by draw only. The draw opportunities include spring turkey, pheasant, dove, rabbit, and woodcock hunting. Deer and squirrel hunting are not permitted.
  • Pisgah 3 Wildlife Management Area Unit 3 is a 142-acre tract east of the Pisgah Marsh Unit 1 in Whitley County. Unit 3 is mostly tillable farmland with a 6-acre constructed impoundment in the center of the property. All hunting is by draw only. Hunting opportunities available include spring turkey, pheasant, dove, and woodcock. Deer and squirrel hunting are not permitted.
  • Rome City Wetland Conservation Area is a 50-acre cattail-dominated parcel in Noble County. The property lies within the floodplain of the north branch of the Elkhart River. One parking lot along County Road 1000 N provides access with limited access via the river. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Wawasee Wetland Conservation Area is in three separate parcels totaling 57 acres in Kosciusko County. The three areas are located on the northeast side of Johnson Bay and the west side of Conklin Bay. Access is by boat from Lake Wawasee or from the county road leading to Ogden Island. The property is open to all hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required.
  • Whirledge Wetland Conservation Area is a 52-acre parcel in Noble County. One parking lot along County Road 550 W provides access. The property is open to all hunting and trapping in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana. No check-in is required. Trapping is by draw only, which is conducted in early October at the Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area office.

To learn more about the location and activities available on these properties, see the Where to Hunt map.

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