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J. Edward Roush Lake is one of three Upper Wabash Valley lakes and is situated in Huntington and Wells counties. The northeastern Indiana shoreline is surrounded by mixed woodlands and several recreational areas providing natural habitat for numerous animals while providing a myriad of activities for lake visitors. Swimming, camping, boating, fishing, hunting and nature viewing are just a few things that can be done around the lake.
J. Edward Roush Lake was created through a joint effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. J Edward Roush Lake was formerly known as Huntington Lake or Huntington Reservoir and was designed to reduce flood damages in the Wabash Watershed. Although completed in 1968, the land and area surrounding J. Edward Roush Lake is rooted in history. The land was originally occupied by the Miami Native Americans; as pioneers moved westward, conflict between the Native Americans and the American military escalated. Little Turtle, the greatest war chief of the Miami Native Americans, led the early resistance to the pioneers and military. He then tried to promote peace between the two groups. It was because of Little Turtle's peacemaking efforts that George Washington presented him with a sword and medal. Although Little Turtle died in 1812 he was again honored by the naming of J. Edward Roush Lake site known as the Little Turtle Recreational Area.
Nature watchers may enjoy viewing white tail deer drinking water at the edge of J. Edward Roush Lake or view squirrel and rabbits scurrying through the fallen leaves around the campsites. Loons, double-crested cormorants, eagles, gulls and terns may be spotted during seasonal migrating. Lake visitors can also sit by crackling campfires as they enjoy one of the many primitive campsites located around J. Edward Roush Lake. Other lake facilities include a swimming beach, basketball courts, archery range, playground, model RC airport, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. Boat rentals are available at the beach and lake visitors may rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats. Lake visitors can choose several different hiking trails that offer unique views of J. Edward Roush Lake and the land surrounding it. For those who brought along their mountain bike will even find a trail designed for their liking.
With the natural beauty surrounding J. Edward Roush Lake and the abundance of wildlife, hunters will find the lake a pleasant place to hunt. Lake game includes deer, fox, coyote, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, mourning dove, waterfowl and put take pheasant. Hunters must sign in and out during their hunts and stay in designated areas. Trapping is also permitted after obtaining permission through a sealed bid auction. Hunters may practice their shooting at the lake's state of the art shooting range which also offers targets and ammo sales.
J. Edward Roush Lake is not only enjoyed by hunters but also by anglers and tenet farmers. Each State Recreation Area around the lake offers boat ramps where anglers can put in their boats. Anglers without boats can still fish by means of a couple of fishing piers located about the lake. Once in the water or situated on a pier, anglers can cast in their line for largemouth bass, bluegill, rock bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye and red eared sunfish. Tenant farmers may plant agricultural crops approved by Indians Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Biologist. In agreement with the IDNR, farmers must leave 10 percent of their crops standing as winter food and cover supply. The agricultural land not used by tenant farmers is planted by the IDNR wildlife crew to provide food for the J. Edward Roush Lake wildlife.
There is no residential development around J. Edward Roush Lake, so the unaffected beauty around the lake may last for years to come. For those who would like to relocate near the lake can find homes for sale in nearby Roanoke and Fort Wayne. Vacation rentals are not available along the shoreline of J. Edward Roush Lake, and except for primitive camping and youth group ten camping, vacation accommodations must be made elsewhere. Bed and Breakfasts, hotels and motels can be found in Fort Wayne, where lake visitors will have a short drive to their lake side fun.
The quiet evenings by the campfire, and days spent boating and fishing on the lake will leave J. Edward Roush Lake feeling rejuvenated. With all that the lake has to offer it is no wonder it draws more people each year. J. Edward Roush Lake is the place to go to unwind and relax after a week of hard work.
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