In 2011 a Lake Diagnostic Feasibility Study was completed by the State of Indiana for Simonton Lake.  The water quality in the lake was determined to be very good.  However, several recommendations were made to continue to improve the water quality.

One of these recommendations was the establishment of an Ecozone.

Per Indiana Code IC 14-15-7-3 an “Ecozone” designates an area where motorized water craft are limited.  Ecozones include wetlands, marshes and shallow areas.  Areas like these not only provide a habitat for fish and wildlife but also filter nutrients and sediments that hurt water quality and they recharge groundwater.  Ecozones act as self-sustaining fish nurseries. Lakes that do not protect these areas find their water quality in danger.  Scientists tell us without human beings on lakes the disappearance of these essential features might never happen.  But, when humans collide with a lake ecosystem there can be problems.

The biggest culprit in the destruction of wetlands, marshes and shallow areas is motorized watercraft.  Boat motors disturb the bottom, cut up plants and create wakes that throw sediment onto wetland plants making it difficult or impossible to grow.  Bedding areas for fish are disturbed.

The residents of Simonton Lake area do want to protect our lake.  The health of the lake affects the entire watershed. So, it was with this intention that the Board of Directors of the Simonton Lake Area Homeowners Association pursued the establishment of an Ecozone.

In June of 2012 a committee was established and began working with Doug Keller, Aquatic Habitat Coordinator for the Indiana DNR.

While the Indiana Code creating Ecozones was enacted in 2002, to date only Syracuse Lake, Lake Wawasee, and Tippecanoe Lake have acted.  Finding a model to follow was limited.

A public meeting was held in August of 2012 to educate local residents and illuminate the official process by which an Ecozone could be established.  A second purpose for this public meeting was for DNR officials to gage whether local residents were in favor of the project.  Without public support the DNR officials were leery of beginning a lengthy and labor intensive process. 

With good attendance and positive feedback we proceeded to determine local options for our Ecozone, including speed limit, restrictions for motorized boats, anchoring and boundaries.

Restrictions in our Ecozone

The State of Indiana allows the residents of lakes establishing Ecozones to establish some rules. 

At Simonton Lake:

  • Only non-motorized water craft are allowed in the Ecozone. This restriction does not include trolling motors.
  • No anchoring would be permitted in the Ecozone.


We determined that a shallow bay at the southeastern edge of Little Simonton Lake would be our site and laid out a specific boundary. Our formal proposal was submitted to the DNR in October of 2013.  Final approval came in January of 2014.

In 2016 the Ecozone was marked by special buoys provided by the DNR.  Buoys and anchors were created by Committee Member Bob Evans and Eagle Scout Candidate, Carl Horvath.








The Simonton Lake Ecozone is surrounded by wetlands and is home to eagles, fox and deer.  This quiet corner of the lake is a wonderful place to kayak.  But, most importantly the ecozone is protecting and enhancing the water quality, and thus the life, of the lake we love.

The original establishment of our Ecozone was temporary and had to be reviewed to make the law permanent.  In 2019 that process, to make the Ecozone permanent, was begun.