Pigeon River WMP 10-86


The Pigeon River headwaters, in Pigeon Creek, flow southwesterly through Steuben County and enter the east side of LaGrange County. Pigeon Creek turns into the Pigeon River once the creek joins with the Mongo Millpond. From there the river flows west by northwest up to St. Joseph County, Michigan, then it curves southwesterly back to Elkhart County where it eventually meets the St. Joseph River. The Pigeon River project area (HUC 0405000110 and HUC 0405000111) has several waterbody segments listed as impaired on the 303(d) List of Impaired Waters in the Indiana Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report (IR), including impairments in biotic communities, phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, and E. coli. The watershed is approximately 155,000 acres in size and consists of mostly agricultural production land-use. Due to the unique glaciations of the region, the watershed also contains many natural lakes. It is also home to the Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area in LaGrange County.

The LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), determined to protect and improve the Pigeon River watershed, began a local effort to bring watershed stakeholders together in 2009. After receiving an IDEM 319 grant in 2010, the LaGrange County SWCD and the Pigeon River Steering Committee began in earnest to develop a plan of protection and enhancement for the watershed. The product of their efforts is the IDEM approved Pigeon River Watershed Management Plan (WMP).

The Pigeon River WMP is intended as a guide for the protection and enhancement of the environment and quality of the watershed while balancing the different uses and demands of the local stakeholders on this natural resource. This plan strives to achieve these goals through:

  • Maintaining an active watershed group;
  • Reduction of agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution through BMP implementation;
  • Reduction of poorly maintained septic system influences;
  • Reduction of NPS pollution from urban sources;
  • Education and outreach to the local communities.

The Complete Pigeon River Watershed Management Plan