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Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area

Managed by Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA)
812-789-2724
Sugar Ridge FWA Office Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET

Blue Grass FWA advisories

  • All visitors must obtain a one-day access permit before entering the field, regardless of their activity. Visitors must keep their one-day access permit on them while visiting and must complete and return their permit to a self-service booth, drop-box, or the office before leaving.
  • Parking Lot 16 on Boonville-New Harmony Road will be closed approximately three weeks starting Monday, Aug. 23 for a paving project. Property visitors can sign in at Parking Lot 11 on Kansas Road or at Parking Lot 0 at the north end of the property on St. Johns Road. We apologize for this inconvenience.
  • Description

    Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) is a unique natural resource area because all of the land has been previously stripmined. The property covers approximately 2,532 acres and features 28 pits and lakes, around 600 acres of water. Blue Grass is dedicated to providing and maintaining quality hunting, fishing and wildlife watching opportunities.

    The area is named after Bluegrass Creek, located just west of the property. Amax Coal Company began mining operations in October 1973 and ceased operations in 1993. Re-vegetation was carried out using herbaceous cover and woody species planted in clumps and strips.

    Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Blue Grass Fish & 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, shooting, and fishing equipment.

  • Activities

    All visitors must obtain a one-day access permit before entering the field, regardless of their activity. The one-day access permit must be kept with you while visiting and must be completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or the Sugar Ridge FWA office before leaving. The information you provide helps us identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users. We appreciate your patience in taking the extra time to fill out the permit. Your feedback and comments are valuable to us.

    Fishing

    • Seven boat ramps are available on five pits.
    • Outboards are permitted on Blue Grass, Otter and Loon pits at idle speed only. Electric trolling motors only on all other pits.
    • Blue Grass FWA is closed to fishing during the regular south zone waterfowl hunting seasons.
    • Blue Grass FWA provides approximately 600 acres of water in 28 pits.
    • An 18-inch size limit for largemouth bass and two-fish bag limit is in effect on Blue Grass Pit and Loon Pit. There is a 14-inch size limit for largemouth bass on all other pits. All other state size and bag limits apply.
    • Fishing for largemouth bass, black and white crappie, catfish, and muskie is common. Other species, such as bluegill, redear, and river species are present.
    • Muskie are stocked at Loon pit. The Indiana muskie size and bag limit apply (one fish over 36 inches per day).
    • Accessible fishing areas for people with physical disabilities are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.

    Hunting

    • Deer, quail, rabbit, turkey, and waterfowl are common at Blue Grass FWA.
    • Self-service check-in is required. Three self-service permit stations are located on the property. Daily permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter to enter the field. The cards must be returned to any of the drop boxes at the end of the day. Drop boxes are located throughout the property.
    • Special Guidelines:
      • Waterfowl hunting is allowed one half-hour before sunrise until noon local time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Hunting in waterfowl resting area is prohibited. Blinds may be constructed but must be removed at the end of the hunt day.
      • Small game hunting (squirrel, rabbit, quail, and dove) is permitted on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday during legal hunting hours.
      • Dove hunting is by draw only on the first three small game hunting days of the season. Non-toxic shot is required for dove hunting and there is a 50-shell limit per day.
      • Deer hunting is allowed every day during deer season, during legal hunting hours.
      • Spring turkey hunting is allowed every day during the spring turkey season, one-half hour before sunrise until noon.
      • Fall turkey hunting is allowed every day during the fall turkey season, during legal hunting hours.
    • Night and predator hunting is provided by self-service check in.
    • Dog training is allowed only in the area north of Boonville-New Harmony Road.
    • Hunting areas for people with disabilities are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.

    Trapping

    • Wetland trapping by permit only. Trapping opportunities allocated through drawing. For details, call 812-789-2724.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • Need a reason to get outside and move? You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Some activities include trash pick-up, basic gardening, painting, and more. Call Sugar Ridge FWA for details.

    Wildlife Watching

    • More than 2,500 acres of upland habitat, shallow impoundments and lakes attract a wide variety of songbirds, hawks, and waterfowl.
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
    • Camping and swimming are prohibited.

      Target shooting is prohibited.

      Please read and obey all signs.

  • Rules

    A record of FWA property rules can be found on the Indiana Fish & Wildlife Area Rules webpage. Property-specific rules can be found below, if applicable. Contact the property directly for specific questions.

    • Target shooting, camping, and swimming are prohibited.

    Permits

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

    • All visitors must obtain a one-day access permit before entering the field, regardless of their activity. The one-day access permit must be kept with you while visiting and must be completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or the Sugar Ridge FWA office before leaving. The information you provide helps us identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users. We appreciate your patience in taking the extra time to fill out the permit. Your feedback and comments are valuable to us.
    • A Lake Permit is NOT required on Blue Grass FWA.
  • Maps