The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc. was founded in 1983 to study the needs of the Elkhart River and its watershed. As a not-for-profit corporation the association works with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Army Corp. of Engineers, the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and local officials to improve the river. The Association helps to identify the various needs along the river, informs officials, seeks to make the river a public priority, and assists in the planning of cleanup and repair projects. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the river for fishing, boating, and its natural wildlife and beauty.
ERRA has been stocking the Elkhart River with Walleye every two years since 2012. The 6" - 10" fingerlings are raised by Gollon Bait & Fish Farm and are released above and below the Goshen Dam Pond.
In 2020, the Elkhart River Restoration Association launched efforts to protect and improve the Upper Elkhart River Watershed. This effort focuses on updating the Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan for the upper portion of the Elkhart River basin. The Upper Elkhart River Watershed drains 402 square miles including portions of Kosciusko, Lagrange, Elkhart and Noble counties.
The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc. was founded in 1983 to study the needs of the Elkhart River and its watershed. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the river for fishing, boating, and its natural wildlife and beauty.
By clicking on the “Join Now” button you will be taken to the secure PayPal site where you can use PayPal or ANY Credit Card to join the ERRA and help improve the Elkhart River Watershed.
ERRA is managed by a 9 member board of directors. Directors are elected from the general membership during the Annual Membership Meeting held each September.
The present board of Directors:
- Nancy Brown – President
- TBD – Vice President
- Jason Kauffman – Secretary
- David Troup – Treasurer
- William Rieth
- Gene Lightner
- James Hess
- Nathan King
- Doug Nisley
- June 13, 2022
- September 12, 2022
- December 12, 2022
ERRA Projects Chronology
|1982||Held local home meetings around Pond area to:
a) Clean up Goshen Pond to improve water quality
b) Clean Elkhart River around Goshen area
c) Reduce flooding in Goshen
d) Repair old Dam
|1983||Incorporated June 16 as non-profit corporation in the state of Indiana.
Elected Board of Directors and Officers.
Held meetings with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
|1984||Hired Ten_Eck Engineering for study of the Elkhart River.
Held meetings with county officials of LaGrange, Noble, Kosciusko and Elkhart.
|1985||IDNR shows interest in helping of river clearing and snagging.
IDNR officials float river and promise a report.
|1986||IDNR floats the river for survey and report.
Right of Entry forms need to be signed by property owners along river before work can begin.
Goshen Dam springs leak and is not repairable.
|1987||Emergency declared at leaking dam.
No funds are available from State or Federal Agencies.
New dam extension is built with draw-down tubes using local funds:
Elkhart County Park Department: $325,000
City of Goshen: $55 ,000
ERRA - Engineering: $25,000
ERRA - Donations: $40,000
IDNR Grant in 1990: $50,000
Total Cost: $495,000
|1987||Contract let for clearing of north and south branches of Elkhart River.
Hired Lawson-Fisher for water quality study of Goshen Pond.
|1988||Completed clean up of north and south branches of Elkhart River.
Goshen Pond drained to inspect old dam and banks.
|1989||Hired Lawson-Fisher to engineer new Dam and Pond area.
Applied for new funding to continue river cleaning.
|1990||Funds requested from Indiana Lottery Agency in the amount of $2,250,000 to build new dam and dredge the pond.
River cleaning complete to Benton Dam.
|1991||Work started on new dam in fall.
River cleaning complete to Waterford bridge.
Permits and consents obtained from all property owners through the City of Goshen.
|1992||New dam completed in December.
Held meetings with IDNR and other agencies for additional funding to complete cleaning of the river.
|1993 - 1995||We are still awaiting finding release from IDNR to clean the river through the City of Goshen. We have been told this will happen in 1996.|
Agreement signed by Elkhart County Commissioners to IDNR to budget $15,000 annually for clearing and cleaning of the Elkhart River by the Elkhart County Park Department.
|1997||Requested assistance from IDNR to repair river banks to control water flow into old gravel pit at Miller's Manor Addition along OxBow Drive.
Again requested funding from Budget Committee of Legislators to complete river cleaning from Goshen to the St. Joe River in Elkhart.
River cleaning completed through the City of Goshen.
|2006||Received EPA 319 Grant $518,000 to develop an Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan and to fund the design and implementation of demonstration BMP's. The Grant is administered by IDEM and is a 39 month project. Study and inventory the entire watershed.|
|2008||Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan completed and approved.
$40,000 for the Watershed Management Plan
Actual expenses: $248,000; $129,500 In-kind
850 volunteer hours
|2011 - 2014||$397,000 Great Lake Commission Grant Received
36 month grant; purpose of grant: Reduce amount of sediment from entering the Elkhart River.
Goal: prevent 40 thousand tons of sediment from entering the river over 10 yrs.
|2012||Received $7,500 LARE Grant to develop a Goshen Dam Pond Dredging Plan.
Started stocking of the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings every two years. 2,350 fingerlings ranging in size from 6" to 8" were released; 1,100 above the Goshen Dam and 1,250 below the dam.
|2013||Received Goshen Dam Pond dredging permit.|
|2014||Goshen Dam Pond Dredging Plan approval received.
Stocked the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings
GLC Grant Final Report submitted.
|2016||Stocked the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings|
|2018||Stocked the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings|
|2020||Stocked the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings|