Eller Pond Wetland Conservation Area has only been in existence since 2003 when the property was donated to the state Dr. Alvan and Arlene Eller of Bringhurst.
The Eller’s and Dr. Edward Langston originally purchased the area for farming. It was already wet but when a contractor began digging a drainage ditch, they struck natural springs that quickly flooded the area.
After Ellers’ purchased Dr. Langston’s share, they decided to keep the pond because of its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, especially waterfowl.
The area includes 2 ponds that cover nearly 40 acres, though the water is so shallow that the DNR doesn’t stock any fish because they likely won’t survive extremely cold weather or drought. There are plenty of yellow-bellied catfish and local anglers are known to throw fish into the pond so occasional catches of bluegill, crappie or bass aren’t unheard of.
Aside from sightseeing on the road that borders the eastern edge of the pond, the only way to visit is via watercraft. The shoreline is approximately 30-50 feet of thick brush standing in water from toe- to waist-deep. Unless you are looking for snakes, bugs or frogs, a canoe, kayak or small boat will make the visit much more pleasurable. Only electric motors are allowed.
However, the main reason to visit the area is waterfowl. During peak flights, hundreds of ducks and geese are know to gather on the water.
Frog and waterfowl hunting is allowed and in fact, visitation to the area is restricted to duck hunters between Sept 1 and the end of duck season. However, it seems unlikely that visitors would encounter problems if they visit during late morning to early afternoon when hunters and waterfowl aren’t present.
At this time, hunting is on a first-come, first-served basis and no prior registration is required prior to hunting. That could change if the area becomes too popular.
The larger pond has a small gravel ‘ramp’ that enters the water from a small parking area. The pond is so shallow and grows deeper so gradually that virtually any boat will need to be dragged out from shore. Plan on wet feet unless you are wearing tall boots.
On the west end of the main pond is a bed of emergent water weeds that can be pushed through to reach the remaining 3 acres of water. The smaller pond is located north of the main body of water. It is often covered in algae and there is no easy access.
The water in Eller Pond is quite interesting. During warm weather, the water is a thick, opaque pea-soup green, though there is very little algae visible.
On the west end of the pond is a bed of emergent water weeds that can be pushed through to reach the remaining 3 acres of water.
Eller Pond is located east of State Road 75 south of Flora; it is located near the intersection of County Road 50E and 300S
For a short video paddle of Eller Pond, visit our YouTube channel: Eller Pond Video