Frequently Asked Questions
Information for your trip to Goose Pond FWA
HOW/WHERE DO I GET A PROPERTY MAP AND REGULATIONS?
The Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area Property Maps are available from several sources. Maps and Rules and Regulations will be available at the Visitors Center on C.R. 400S and at self-service booths located on the property. They are also available online at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3094.htm
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR SIGNING IN AND OBTAINING A ONE DAY PERMIT CARD?
Prior to each day afield, each visitor is required to sign in at one of the self-service booths. The sign-in sheets and one day permit cards are color coded to represent different activities. The color codes are as follows: Tan – Wildlife Watching, Hiking, Photography and Misc. activities Yellow- Small game hunting Blue – Waterfowl hunting Green – Deer hunting White – Night hunting Simply sign the sign in sheet, obtain and fill out the one day permit card that corresponds with your desired activity for that day. At the completion of that day’s activity, finish filling out the one day permit card and deposit it in the most convenient drop box. Hunting opportunities for waterfowl, upland game, deer firearm, trapping and the first three days of dove hunting are allocated through a drawing. All other allowable activities are self-service sign in. Most drawings take place at the property office on HWY 59 about 2 miles south of Linton. There are reserved waterfowl hunts that can be applied for on line during the month of September. For more information on the various drawings visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3094.htm or call the office at (812)659-9901
IF AN AREA IS BEING HUNTED, IS THAT AREA CLOSED TO ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES?
No. However, IDNR requests, that property visitors be courteous and respectful to each other so that everyone can enjoy their day afield. Hunting schedules will be available at the self-service booths, at the check station and online at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3094.htm .
WHEN CAN I EXPECT OBSERVATION TOWERS, HIKING TRAILS AND OTHER FACILITIES TO BE COMPLETED?
IDNR is carefully planning for these types of facilities. It will be important for these facilities to be located in areas that offer high quality viewing opportunities while minimizing disturbance to wildlife.
HOW BIG IS THE PROPERTY?
The property is 9,018 acres. Of that acreage, approximately 3,850 acres are marsh and emergent wetlands and 1,300 acres are prairie. There are approximately 1200 acres of tree plantings and forested, re-claimed strip-mined land. There are 37 miles of levees and 42 water control structures on the property. The average water depth is less than 2 feet, but there are areas where the water exceeds 20 feet deep.
WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES CAN I DO AT GOOSE POND?
The property is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. One only needs to go through the appropriate procedure (drawing and/or sign-in) as outlined above. Allowable activities include but are not limited to hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and wildlife watching, canoeing and kayaking. Only electric trolling motors are allowed. Non-allowable activities include ATV riding, camping, motorboats, horseback riding, swimming, diving and bicycle riding.
ARE THERE ANY MARKED TRAILS ON THE PROPERTY?
Yes. There is currently one marked trail over at unit Beehunter 5 South. That trail is approximately 2 miles long and was established by Friends of Goose Pond. A virtual tour of the trail is available at www.friendsofgoosepond.org . Brochures are available at the office and Beehunter check-in booth.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO COME AND SEE BIRDS?
That varies from season to season. The best time to see sandhill cranes is mid-February to early March. Many waterfowl species are here at that time too. If you want to see shorebirds, late April through early May is a good time as is late August and early September. From June through August is an excellent time to come see Great Egrets, Night Herons and other marsh birds. Late June is also the prime time to come see the wildflowers blooming in the prairies.
CAN SCHOOL GROUPS COME VISIT THE PROPERTY?
Absolutely. To set up a school field trip or outings for other groups send an email to email@example.com or call (812)659-9901.
WHO SHOULD I CALL WITH OTHER QUESTIONS?
Please call (812) 659-9901 for additional information.
Goose Pond Fact Sheet
Historically, Goose Pond was part of a huge wetland complex that covered most of western Indiana. As was the case with most wetlands in Indiana, it was drained for agricultural use over the course of the last 200 years.
The property is 9.018 acres. 7,135 acres is enrolled in Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) by the previous landowner. WRP is a permanent easement placed on the land by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS agreed to restore to wetlands and previous landowner agreed to never farm it again.
IDNR purchased the property in October 2005 from Wilder Farms Inc. The WRP easement remains part of the property forever. The restoration included 37 miles of levee construction, 42 water control structures, 1,300 acres of prairie, 1200 acres of tree plantings and forested, re-claimed strip mined land, and approximately 3,850 acres of shallow water and emergent marsh. Average water depth is 2’. Some areas may be as deep as 20’maintaining the early successional and emergent habitat types is the primary management objective of the property. That means that we will do all we can to prevent trees from growing through the use of fire, herbicides, mowing, disking and flooding.
Creation of shorebird habitat is a primary focus too. That means water levels throughout the property will be frequently manipulated to create high quality shorebird habitat. This will involve frequent draw-downs (draining) of selected units in the spring and fall. In other words, visitors need to be aware that units which were flooded on a prior visit may be drained on a subsequent visit or vice-versa.
IDNR has developed a state-of-the-art visitor’s center which is now open!