Goshen Dam Pond

HUC: Goshen Dam Pond is part of the 10-digit HUC watershed: 0405000119 (what is a Hydrologic Unit Code HUC?)

Area: 125.5 acres

The Goshen Dam Pond was created when a dam was constructed on the Elkhart River to divert water to the Millrace Hydraulic Canal. The construction of the dam and the hydraulic canal began in the summer of 1866 and was completed on April 18, 1868, the same day Goshen was incorporated as a city.  October of 1868 erasing the oxbow bend in the Elkhart River and leaving only Blosser Island.

Photo Credit: Goshen Historical Society

Blosser Island Park opened in 1909 and was the social place to be for the people of the City with many opportunities for recreation and social gatherings. However, by the mid-1930s other forms of recreation and use of the more accessible motorcar led to less and less people visiting the park. By the mid-1940s the park was closed and nature reclaimed it. The island is now a bird sanctuary and is owned by the South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society Chapter

The original dam had a fish ladder but after cracks and a leak were discovered in the dam in 1987 the dam needed to be reconstructed. The new dam was completed in December 1992 and the fish ladder was gone, cutting off a large portion of the Elkhart River Watershed to fish downstream of the dam.

The ability of the Pond to be used for recreation has diminished over the years as it has filled up with sediment from upstream sources, however, the current condition is great for wildlife viewing and paddling.

The sedimentation of the Goshen Dam Pond is an excellent example of the negative impacts sediment pollution can have on a waterway and shows why preventing sediment from reaching a waterway is important. If sediment is not reduced in the Elkhart River the Goshen Dam Pond will continue to transition into a wetland complex and the Elkhart River will once again have an oxbow curve.

What’s going on in the Elkhart River Watershed?

Get involved in efforts to protect the Elkhart River Watershed by learning more and having fun.

Elkhart River Restoration Association

The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc. was founded in 1983 to study the needs of the Elkhart River and its watershed…

SJRBC North Branch of Elkhart River study

The St. Joseph River Basin Commission hired Christopher B. Burke Engineering to develop a flood risk management plan…

City of Elkhart Aquatic Biology Program

The Aquatics Program is a joint effort between the Cities of Elkhart and South Bend to evaluate the health of the St…

Blosser’s Park: The Social Gathering…

This mini-doc shines a light on the park that once made its home on the island in the middle of the Goshen Dam Pond…

How’s the water?

There are many ways that water quality can be tracked. Check out these helpful websites to look at data relating to water quality.

Watershed Partners