Fishing & Boating

The Confluence of Three Rivers

Naturally, the confluence of three rivers makes Defiance County a prime destination for fun on the water, whether you’re leisurely floating downstream, paddling from Point A to Point B, or casting a line in search of the Big One. Learn more about the waterways of Defiance County and a fun-filled day on the water — as relaxing or action-packed as you like.

Maumee River

The Maumee River is formed in Fort Wayne, Indiana by the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers, flowing northeast through Defiance where it is joined by the Tiffin and Auglaize rivers before arriving in Toledo, Ohio and emptying into Maumee Bay and Lake Erie. Numerous parks and historic markers are located on its banks.

Scenic Viewing

Along US-424 East, aka “Major General Lawrence H. Livingston Highway.” Harley-Davidson named US-424 between Defiance and Napoleon one of the 10 best touring roads in the United States. This 18-mile stretch past Independence Dam State Park follows the Maumee River and uses the old tow path of Miami and Erie Canal and Wabash Canal systems for its roadbed.

Boating Access

State DNR access sites include the Bend Road bridge near Sherwood and public boat ramps at Pontiac Park and Independence Dam State Park.

Common Fish Species

  • Flathead catfish
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Walleye
  • White bass

Auglaize River

Named for the sheen on its surface — the natural result of the clay soil along the banks — the Auglaize River drains into the Maumee and features plenty of portage opportunities for canoers and kayakers.


Along State Route 111, south of Defiance.


Public boat ramps at Pontiac Park, Division of Wildlife Five-Mile Creek access area on OH-111 southwest of Defiance, and at the County Highway 196/OH-637 bridge at OH-111 intersection southwest of Defiance.

Five Span Marina
19687 OH-637
Defiance, OH 43512

Auglaize Canoe & Kayak
24687 Road 207
Oakwood, OH 45873

Tiffin River

Also known as Bean Creek Scenic River, the Tiffin River is an excellent canoeing stream. Still standing over the river is the “Old Dey Bridge,” which is no longer used for motor traffic but is still accessible to hikers and tourists. The Tiffin flows into the Maumee about a mile upstream from the Auglaize/Maumee confluence at Pontiac Park in the city of Defiance.

Boating Access:

Public access from canoe/kayak launch sites on Schick Road and off of West High Street at the Dey Bridge, and via the Maumee River.

Defiance Reservoir

Opened in 2008, the 74-acre Defiance Reservoir contains roughly 350 million gallons of water with an average depth of 18 feet. Parking for boats, a ramp, and boat docks provide easy access for boating and fishing, but gasoline motors are not permitted on the Reservoir.

Common Fish Species

  • Bluegill
  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Saugeye
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch