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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Properties > Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area

 Kankakee FWA

4320 W. Toto Road
P.O. Box 77
North Judson, IN 46366
(574) 896-3522
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DESCRIPTION

To sign up for updates regarding Kankakee FWA hunting information, send an email to KankakeeFWAHunterInfo@dnr.in.gov.

Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 4,095 acres, which includes open water, marshes, riparian timber, periodically flooded crop fields and 11 miles of river.

The entire area is situated in what was the Kankakee Grand Marsh, which once covered hundreds of thousands of acres. Most of the Marsh was drained in the late 1800s for agricultural use.

In 1927, the state purchased 2,312 acres of the remaining marsh for a Civilian Conservation Corp. camp, housing as many as 400 men. The area later became established as a game preserve, and during the 50s, waterfowl management was undertaken by the state. In 1982 another 1,016 acres were added and in 1992 an additional 767 acres.

Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. Funds are also received from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on sport hunting and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and fishermen are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

ACTIVITIES

Fishing

  • Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area provides over 45 miles of available water in rivers and ditches.
  • No check-in is required for fishing. Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season. Ask at headquarters for details.
  • Primary species include bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, northern pike, redear and walleyed pike.
  • Motor restrictions: A maximum of 24-volt electric motors are allowed in the fish and wildlife area. Outboard motors are permitted on rivers only.
  • There is a 14 inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass for all Kankakee Fish and Wildlife area waters, except within the Kankakee and Yellow rivers where the size limit is 12 inches . All other size and bag limits apply. See Fishing Regulations for details.
  • Two boat ramps are provided; one on State Highway 8 at the Kankakee River bridge and the second at the town of English Lake at the confluence of the Kankakee and Yellow rivers.
  • Bank fishing is allowed except where posted.

Hunting

  • Deer, quail, rabbit, dove, woodcock, waterfowl and wild turkey are present at Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area.
  • Daily check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.
  • During waterfowl season, daily drawings begin at 4:30 a.m. local time.
  • Waterfowl hunting is allowed only from designated blinds, pits and units.

Wildlife Watching

  • 4,095 acres of riparian woodlands, wetlands, marsh and farm land attract deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, hawks, owls, osprey, bald eagle and a wide variety of neo-tropical species. The Grand Kankakee Marsh was known world wide for its waterfowl. Stories are told of skies blackened by the wings of countless numbers of ducks and geese.

Neighboring Land

Four wetland Conservation Areas are administered through this property. Ask for information at Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area headquarters.

  • Turkey Foot Wetland Conservation Area (153 acres)
  • Round Lake Wetland Conservation Area (134 acres)
  • Koontz Lake Wetland Conservation Area (58 acres)
  • Dick Blythe Wetland Conservation Area (200 acres) 

Additional Opportunities

  • Wetland trapping is available through drawing only. Ask for details.
  • Additional hunting opportunities include waterfowl hunts by both a daily drawing and a pre-season reservation drawing.
  • Two boat ramps are available, one at each end of the property on the Kankakee and Yellow Rivers.
  • Hunting and fishing areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details.
  • Wild berries, nuts and spring and fall mushrooms may be gathered from the property.
  • Turkey Foot, Round Lake, Koontz Lake, and Dick Blythe wetland conservation areas are located near Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area.

NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

Please Read and Obey All Signs.

RULES

In addition to state fish and wildlife laws, this property is governed by posted regulations affecting the public use of lands and facilities owned, leased or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.

Posted Areas

Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting and other restricted areas are marked with appropriate signs. PLEASE READ AND OBEY ALL SIGNS.

Violations

Violation of any law, rule or regulation governing this property may be cause for forfeiting your hunting, fishing, or visiting privileges on this area.

Responsibility

The Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, will not be held responsible for any accidents or deaths occurring from the use of these facilities.

Permits

In addition to a hunting and/or fishing license the following permits are required:

  • Permission to hunt during the day on Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area must be obtained before entering the field. Daily hunt permit cards must be in possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
  • Night and predator hunting: Daily hunt permit cards must be in possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience. 
  • Waterfowl hunting is permitted through a drawing system and registration at the checking station. One day permit cards will be provided at that time. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
  • No check-in or written permission is required for fishing. Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season. Please ask for details in headquarters.
  • There is a minimum size limit of 14 inches on all property waters except within the rivers where the limit is 12 inches for largemouth bass.
  • A launching permit is NOT required on Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area.
  • Collecting Permits are required from the property manager or IDNR for the collecting of anything except nuts, berries and mushrooms.

Traffic

Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by state and county laws. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicles, is restricted to walking. Please be courteous to neighboring landowners. Look for property boundary and safety zone signs. Stay at least 500 feet inside boundaries. Do not trespass on private property. No ATVs, Snowmobiles, or Horses are allowed on the property.

GALLERY

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