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Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area

Tri-County FWA
8432 N. 850 E.
Syracuse, IN 46567
574-834-4461
Office Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. ET
on.IN.gov/tricountyfwa

Tri-County FWA advisories

  • None at this time.
  • Description

    This property is a stop on the

    Indiana Birding Trail Logo

    Learn more at www.indianabirdingtrail.com.

    Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing 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 is 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.

  • Activities

    All visitors must obtain a one-day access permit before entering the field, regardless of their activity. The one-day access permit must be kept with you while visiting and must be completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or the office before leaving. The information you provide helps us identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users. We appreciate your patience in taking the extra time to fill out the permit. Your feedback and comments are valuable to us.

    Fishing

    • Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area has 10 natural lakes and 32 man-made impoundments with 200 acres of restored open water wetlands.
    • All fishing areas are closed during waterfowl seasons.
    • Primary species include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and put and put-and-take trout.
    • Boats with electric motors are allowed on lakes and ponds. No gas motors permitted.
    • Shoreline fishing is available at Goldeneye Pond, Bass Pond and the Wawasee Family Fishing Area.
    • There is a special size and bag limit for largemouth bass on all Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area waters. All other species size and bag limits apply.

    Hunting

    • Hunting opportunities for woodland game, upland game, waterfowl and furbearers are available.
    • Daily check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See the current hunting regulations for details.
    • Contact property headquarters for information on special hunts and pre-registration.
    • 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 (anything that penetrates a tree more than a ½ inch is prohibited, i.e. screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers).
    • For waterfowl and turkey reserved hunt or drawing, doors open at 5 a.m. and the draw is at 5:30 a.m. For dove, doors open at 10 a.m. and the draw is at 11 a.m. For put-and-take pheasant, hunting starts at 9 a.m.
    • A trapping draw is held on the first Saturday in October at 10 a.m. Special restrictions apply.
    • Please contact the Tri-County property office for information on upcoming youth hunting and fishing events.
    • Hunting and fishing areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details.
    • A dog training area is provided in area B (see map).

    Other Activities

    Nuts, berries and mushrooms may be gathered from the property. Mushroom hunting is allowed after 1 p.m. during turkey hunting season.

    Shooting Range

    • Shooting and archery ranges are located near the property headquarters.
    • Tri County offers 10, 50, and 100 yard ranges.  Tri County also offers a trap range.
    • Target ranges are free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis.
    • See the shooting range webpage for hours.
    • All shooters must obey range rules and regulations.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • 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, basic gardening, painting, and more. Call the property office for details.

    Wildlife watching

    • Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area is composed of flat to rolling upland fields with oak hickory woodlands, falling off into wetlands and natural lakes. It provides excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year.

    Neighboring land

    • Deniston Resource Area, Wawasee Family Fishing Area, Durham Lake Wetland Conservation Area, Pisgah Nongame Area and Chain-O-Lakes State Park are located nearby. Information on these areas is available at the property headquarters.

    Camping and swimming are prohibited.

    Please read and obey all signs.

  • Rules

    A record of Fish & Wildlife Area property rules can be found on the Indiana Fish & Wildlife Area Rules webpage.  Property specific rules can be found below, if applicable.  Contact the property directly for specific questions.

    Permits

    In addition to a hunting and/or fishing license, the following permits are required:

    • All visitors must obtain a one-day access permit before entering the field, regardless of their activity. The one-day access permit must be kept with you while visiting and must be completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or the office before leaving. The information you provide helps us identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users. We appreciate your patience in taking the extra time to fill out the permit. Your feedback and comments are valuable to us.
    • Permission to hunt during the day on Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area must be obtained before entering the field. One-day hunting permit cards must be in possession of the hunter at all times. Bagged game must be checked in through the check station or recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
    • No shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is allowed.
    • Night and predator hunting, as well as night running, is permitted by using one-day permit cards available at the self-service check-in booth.
    • A permit from Tri-County FWA headquarters is required to enter the waterfowl resting areas.
  • Maps
  • Pisgah Marsh Area and Durham Lake Wetland Conservation Area

    Access to Pisgah Marsh and Durham Lake Wetland Conservation Area: Located on CR 350 N, Pierceton, IN 46562, approximately nine miles north of Larwill, IN, west of SR 5.

    The Pisgah Marsh Area and boardwalk has three areas set aside to preserve habitat resources for a variety of plant and animal species. The 445 combined acres of Pisgah Areas 1, 2, and 3 is comprised of grassland, wetland, upland forest and lake habitat. Pisgah Area 1 has approximately 128 acres as well as the 6.67-acre Pisgah Lake. The Durham Lake area is comprised of three units with a total of 526 acres with a 13-acre lake.

    The Pisgah Marsh and Durham Lake areas are managed by Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area.

    Fishing

    • Fishing is available at the Durham Lake area. No check-in is required for fishing.
    • Primary species include largemouth bass and bluegill.
    • Small boat access available. No gas motors permitted.
    • There is a special size and bag limit for largemouth bass. All other species size and bag limits apply. See current fishing regulations for details.

    Hunting

    • Hunting opportunities for woodland game, upland game, waterfowl and furbearers are available on the Durham Lake area.
    • Check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See current hunting regulations for details.

    Pisgah Marsh Areas 1, 2, and 3

    In an attempt to help preserve sensitive areas, the Pisgah Marsh Boardwalk and Golden Eagle Deck was constructed in Area 1 to provide access to the property.

    • Area 1: Pisgah Marsh Wildlife Diversity Area
      • Access to Area 1 is limited to the boardwalk ONLY. ADA-approved parking and restrooms available. Bus parking is available in Lot B. Please park in designated parking areas and stay on the boardwalk.
      • Please do not disturb or feed the wildlife. Pets, alcohol, bicycles, roller blades and skateboards are not allowed on the boardwalk.
      • Hunting, fishing and collection of any species is strictly prohibited in this area. Property closed sunset to sunrise except by permit.
    • Area 2 and Area 3
      • Limited access is allowed on Area 2 and Area 3. Please ask for details at Tri-County headquarters.
  • 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, one pit toilet, 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, go to the interactive Where to Hunt map.

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