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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Properties > Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area

Hovey Lake FWA
(812) 838-2927
Office Hours: M, T, Th, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
15800 Raben Road South
Mt. Vernon, IN 47620
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Office hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Central Time. For other office hour, please call the office.

Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area is a unique natural area nestled in the Ohio River and Wabash River floodplains in extreme southwest Indiana. Hovey Lake FWA covers approximately 7,404 acres and features a 1,400 acre oxbow lake, other smaller sloughs, marshes and extensive bottomland hardwood forests. Hovey Lake is dedicated to providing and maintaining quality hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities.

The land presently called Hovey Lake FWA has a long history. It was ceded to the state in treaties of 1803 and 1809, and designated as swampland. The land was then granted to the Wabash and Erie Canal Company. During the 1880s it became the property of Charles J. Hovey. The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife began acquiring this property in 1939. Additional lands were acquired at other times through purchase or lease from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Hovey Lake FWA 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.

Frequently Asked Questions



  • Boat fishing allowed, with a 10 mph limit enforced.
  • Boat launching only allowed at lake ramp or Ohio River access ramp.
  • Shoreline fishing allowed only along lake drain and west side of lake.
  • No check-in required for fishing.
  • All state size and bag limits apply.
  • Lake closed to fishing and boating during fall and winter. Check with property for current year’s dates.


  • The most common game species include waterfowl, deer, turkey and squirrel; however all the major game species are found on Hovey Lake FWA.
  • Hovey Lake FWA uses a combination of restricted areas, restricted hunter numbers, daily drawings, preseason drawings and self-service permit check-in to control hunting efforts. Check with the property for current regulations.
  • Flooding often limits hunting opportunities. Check with property for current water conditions.


  • Wetland trapping is allowed through a special drawing at the Hovey Lake FWA office. Drawing date is the first Saturday in October. Call the office for details.


  • Picnicking restricted to designated areas at the lake. Open fires are prohibited.

Wildlife Watching

  • More than 7,400 acres of upland habitat, marshes, sloughs and woods attract a wide variety of song birds, raptors and waterfowl.

Additional Opportunities

  • Wetland trapping is available on a drawing basis. There are several units open to trapping.
  • Check with property for current hunting season information.
  • A bird watching observation area is available.
  • Mushrooms, berries and nuts may be gathered; however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

Camping and Swimming Prohibited

Please Read and Obey All Signs


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. Pursuant to the Authority of Chapter 60, Acts of 1919, Chapter 120 and Chapter 441, Acts of 1965: and the Indiana Code of 1971, 14-3-3.

Posted Areas

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


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


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.


In addition to a hunting and/or fishing licenses, one of the following permits will be required. Permission to hunt during the day on Hovey Lake FWA 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 at various sites on the property for your convenience. No shooting of woodchucks (groundhogs) is allowed.


Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by state and county laws. Traffic use of area roads is limited to those shown on the property map. All other service roads and trails are restricted to walking, except by authorized vehicles.

  • No horses permitted beyond county roads.
  • Parking in designated lots only.