This man-made reservoir is an emergency water supply for Fort Wayne. It also provides recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing.
Hurshtown Reservoir was built in 1969 to provide the City Utilities’ customers with water in the event of a drought. It contains 1.8 billion gallons of water which is pumped in from the St. Joseph River. The water level in the reservoir is maintained by pumping the water from the St. Joseph River. If the water is needed by the City, the water would be discharged near the southeast corner of the reservoir into a drainage course that feeds the St. Joseph River. To date, the City of Fort Wayne has never had to use this emergency water supply.
The Reservoir is located approximately 1.5 miles north of the town of Grabill at 16000 Roth Road. It is rectangular in shape and is approximately 1 mile wide in east-west direction and 0.5 miles wide in north-south direction. The Reservoir is bound by Page Road on the west, Hurshtown Road on the north, Roth Road on the east, and an existing farm on the south.
The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department manages Hurshtown Reservoir and offers a host of recreational opportunities for the entire family including fishing, boating, biking, picnicking or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of the country. The facility is open to the public 5 days a week from May through September.
Fishing: Hurshtown Reservoir was successfully stocked with over 39,000 smallmouth bass in 1989 and is monitored regularly by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The Kids Fishing Derby is a popular annual event held at Hurshtown Reservoir each June.
Jogging, Biking, Walking: The 2¾ mile road surrounding the reservoir provides an excellent place to bike, jog or walk. Season passes are available for frequent users or you may take advantage of the special walk-in/bike-in rate.
Picnicking: Hurshtown Reservoir provides the perfect setting for family picnics and group outings with fishing and boating opportunities and plenty of grassy open space for volleyball, horseshoes or whatever activity fits the occasion. Alcohol is not permitted on the Reservoir property.
Boating, Sailing, Windsurfing: Boating is encouraged at Hurshtown Reservoir. The Reservoir sits high above the landscape providing wind conditions excellent for sailing and wind surfing. Rowboats and canoes may be rented on an hourly or daily basis and a public boat ramp is available for launching private watercraft.
Boats with engines and motors may be launched on the Reservoir, however gasoline powered engines may not be operated anywhere on the Reservoir. Boats with outboard gasoline engines may be launched so long as the engines are tilted up when the boats are launched and during the time the boats are on the water. Boats with electric motors may be operated on the Reservoir.
Why the Use of Gasoline Powered Engines is Not Allowed on Hurshtown Reservoir
Although Hurshtown Reservoir is operated as a recreational facility, its primary purpose is to provide an emergency water supply for the customers of City Utilities. Therefore, water quality in the Reservoir is an important concern. The use of gasoline powered engines on the Reservoir may cause the water to be polluted with gasoline and other petroleum products. In fact, research shows that two-cycle engines such as those used in personal watercraft discharge as much as 30 percent of their fuel unburned, leading to direct gasoline contamination of water resources. Hurshtown is a small, enclosed Reservoir compared to large natural lakes, which are more likely to have water flowing through them. Because there is constant turn over of water in natural lakes and streams, the impact of gasoline powered watercraft on water quality is limited. Hurshtown Reservoir, as an enclosed eco-system, would be more likely to experience a cumulative effect of pollution from gasoline powered engines. For this reason, the City Utilities prohibits the use of gasoline engines on the Reservoir.
For more information, please contact Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation: Hurshtown Reservoir at (260) 627-3390 or visit Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation website at www.fortwayneparks.org.