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Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area

Address
11699 New Harmony Road
Elberfeld, IN 47613

Link to this page
on.IN.gov/bluegrassfwa

Email
BlueGrassFWA@dnr.IN.gov

Admission
Free

Time zone
Central

Office hours (located in ET)
Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Property hours
24/7. Some activities may have specific open times, especially if there is a draw. Please call the office at 812-789-2724 with questions.


Description

Blue Grass FWA provides and maintains quality hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching opportunities. The property covers approximately 2,532 acres and features 28 pits and lakes, totaling around 600 acres of water.

Blue Grass FWA is a unique natural resource area because all of the land was previously strip-mined. 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 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, shooting, and fishing equipment.

Fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife watching and birding are popular activities at Blue Grass FWA.

  • Amenities
    • A portable toilet is available in parking lot 16. Open 24/7.
  • Fishing
    • Blue Grass FWA provides approximately 600 acres of water in 28 pits.
    • Daily check-in is required.
    • Fishing for largemouth bass, black and white crappie, catfish, and muskie is common. Other species, such as bluegill, redear, and river species are present. See the Where to Fish map for the best fishing locations.
    • Blue Grass FWA is closed to fishing during the regular south zone waterfowl hunting seasons.
    • Outboards are permitted on Blue Grass, Otter, and Loon pits at idle speed only.
    • Only electric trolling motors are permitted on all other pits.
    • Seven boat ramps are available on five pits: Otter, Loon, Blue Grass, Bird Dog, and Ringneck.
    • Please park only in designated lots.
    • Accessible fishing areas for people with physical disabilities are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.
    • Bow and spear fishing are permitted according to state fishing laws.
    • An 18-inch size limit for largemouth bass and a 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. See Fishing Regulations for details.
    • Muskie are stocked at Loon Pit. The Indiana muskie size and bag limits apply (one fish over 36 inches per day).
  • Hunting
    • Hunting for deer, quail, rabbit, turkey, and waterfowl is common at Blue Grass FWA.
    • Daily check-in is required.
    • All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See Hunting Regulations for details.
    • Night and predator hunting is provided by self-service check-in.
    • Hunting areas for people with disabilities are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.

    Deer

    • Bonus antlerless deer licenses are not permitted, and the special antlerless deer firearms season is CLOSED on Blue Grass FWA.
    • A fastener used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree or pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch is prohibited (e.g., screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers).
    • Deer tree stands and ground blinds may be used and left unattended from noon, Sept. 15 through Jan. 10. Tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked in English with either the owner's DNR customer identification number or the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.

    Upland Game (Dove, quail, rabbit)

    • Small game hunting (squirrel, rabbit, quail, and dove) is permitted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during legal hunting hours.
    • There is a 50-shell limit for dove hunting, and hunters must use nontoxic shot.

    Turkey

    • During spring turkey season, only persons signed in to turkey hunt or fish are allowed on the property before noon CT.
    • Fall turkey hunting is allowed every day during the fall turkey season, during legal hunting hours.
    • Spring turkey hunting is allowed every day during the spring turkey season, one-half hour before sunrise until noon.

    Waterfowl

    • Waterfowl hunting is allowed one half-hour before sunrise until noon CT on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
    • Hunting in the waterfowl resting area is prohibited.
    • Blinds may be constructed but must be removed at the end of the hunt day.
  • Trapping
    • Trapping opportunities are allocated through drawing only. For details, call 812-789-2724.
    • Wetland trapping is by permit only.
    • View the statewide trapping regulations in the Hunting & Trapping Guide.
  • Wildlife watching & birding
    • More than 2,500 acres of upland habitat, shallow impoundments, and lakes attract a wide variety of songbirds, hawks, and waterfowl.
    • During hunting seasons, it is recommended that wildlife watching and birding be done only in safety zones and only when wearing orange or another bright color.

More activities

  • Biking
    • Bicycling is allowed on all paved and gravel roads that are open to vehicle travel.
    • There are no mountain bike trails, and off-road travel is prohibited.
  • Dog running
    • Dog training is allowed only in the area north of Boonville-New Harmony Road.
    • Dogs must be always leashed outside of the dog running and training area unless being used by a registered hunter in the pursuit of game.
    • Only service dogs are allowed inside buildings.
    • Sign-in is required, and a one-day hunting card must be obtained for dog running.
  • Foraging
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered; however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
    • Please note that during spring turkey season, only persons signed-in to turkey hunt or fish are allowed on the property before noon CT. Please call the office for dates or questions.
  • Hiking & walking
    • Visitors are encouraged to hike, explore, and enjoy Blue Grass FWA.
    • Access lanes are mowed a few times a year and are available for a more backcountry hiking experience.
    • During hunting seasons, it is recommended that hiking and walking be done only in safety zones and only when wearing orange or another bright color.
  • Water recreation
    • Blue Grass FWA provides approximately 600 acres of water in 28 pits.
    • Boat launch permits are not required.
    • Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are allowed.
    • Swimming is prohibited.
    • Anyone in a boat, canoe, kayak, or on a paddle board must be in possession of a wearable personal flotation device while on the water.
    • Refer to the property map for ramp locations.
  • Volunteering
    • Need a reason to get outside and move? You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Call the property office for details.
    • Some activities include trash pickup, basic gardening, painting, invasive species removal, and more.

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