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Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area

Hovey Lake FWA
Office: 8401 State Road 69 South
Mount Vernon, IN 47620.
812-838-2927
Office Hours: M, T, Th, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CT)

Hovey Lake FWA advisories

  • Properties are continuing to operate hunt and trap draws differently due to COVID-19. View the property procedures.
  • 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.

Upcoming events at Hovey Lake

  • Description

    This property is a stop on the

    Birding Trail Logo

    Learn more at www.indianabirdingtrail.com.

    Hovey Lake Fish & 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 and marshes, and extensive bottomland hardwood forests. Hovey Lake FWA is dedicated to providing and maintaining outdoor recreational 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 was 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 DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife acquired the first piece of 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, shooting, and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and anglers are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

  • 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 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

    • Boat fishing is allowed, and a 10 mph limit is enforced.
    • All state size and bag limits apply.
    • Lake is closed to fishing and boating during fall and winter for waterfowl hunting season. Check with property for current year’s lake closures dates. These dates generally include the months of October-February.

    Hunting

    • 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.

    Deer Hunting

    • Archery, Firearms, and Muzzleloader seasons are by self-service check-in. Hunters must sign in at one of the check-in booths on the property. These locations can be found on property maps.
    • Tree stands are allowed on the property from Sept. 15 – Jan. 10. Tree stands must have owner information attached and include name, address and phone number, or DNR Customer Identification Number.
    • The use of bonus antlerless licenses is prohibited on the property.
    • The unit behind the lake is closed to deer hunting starting the Friday before firearms season.

    Waterfowl Hunting

    • Daily drawings are held at 4:30 a.m. during the regular waterfowl season.
    • Hunting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. at draw units.
    • Hunting is permitted on units not included in the draw system by self-service check in from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
    • Reserve hunt days are Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Hunters can sign up online for these hunts during September.
    • No hunting is permitted in the Waterfowl Resting Area.
    • Waterfowl hunters may possess a maximum of 25 shot shells daily during the teal, duck, and dark goose seasons.

    Turkey Hunting

    • The first five days of spring turkey season are reserved hunts that can be applied for online. There will be a stand-by drawing these days for unfilled spots at 4:30 a.m. at the property office.
    • Hunting is by self-service check-in for the remainder of the spring season.
    • Spring turkey hunting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise until noon CT.
    • Fall turkey hunting is by self-service check in.

    Trapping

    • 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.

    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 the property office for details.

    Wildlife Watching

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

    Additional Opportunities

    • Check with property for current hunting season information.
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered; however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

    Camping and swimming is prohibited.

    Please read and obey all signs.

  • Rules

    A record of Fish & Wildlife Area 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.

    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 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.
    • The shooting of woodchucks (groundhogs) is prohibited.
  • Maps