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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
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Tri-County FWA advisories

  • Properties are operating hunt and trap draws differently in this year due to COVID-19. View the property procedures.
  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to protect Hoosiers and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Please visit on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19 for a listing of what is open, closed, restricted and canceled.

  • 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 hunting and fishing 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

    Fishing

    • Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area has 10 natural lakes and 32 man-made impoundments with 200 acres of restored open water wetlands.
    • No check-in is required for fishing. All fishing areas are closed during waterfowl seasons.
    • Primary species include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie 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

    There is no sign in required to scout, fish, hike or wildlife watch.

    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, Pisqah Nongame Area and Chain-O-Lakes State Park are located nearby. Information on these areas is available at the property headquarters.

    NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

    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:

    • 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