517 N Warren Road
Huntington, IN 46750
Link to this page
Office: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. ET
Property: 24/7. Some activities may have specific open times, especially if there is a draw. Please call property for questions.
J.E. (J. Edward) Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area provides quality outdoor recreational opportunities while maintaining 7,347 acres of land, 900 acres of lake, and 350 acres of impoundments. The property, which is approximately 15 miles long, is a long narrow band along the Wabash River.
J.E. Roush Lake, also known as Huntington Lake, was constructed in 1967 and is one of the three Upper Wabash Valley lakes, along with Mississinewa and Salamonie, operating primarily as a unit to control floodwaters along the Wabash River basin. J.E. Roush Lake also works secondarily with other lakes downstream to reduce lower Wabash and Ohio River floods. The lake provides benefits to nearly 60,000 acres of agricultural lands and general recreational activities associated with hunting and fishing. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partners with the DNR under a lease agreement. The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife operates and maintains the recreation facilities and wildlife areas at the lake. J.E. Roush Lake was operated by what was then the DNR Division of Reservoirs until 1998 and then by the DNR Division of State Parks until 2010.
Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of J.E. Roush Lake FWA are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Funds are also derived 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 free for the enjoyment of all.
Public restrooms are at the following locations:
Modern (open when the water is on, roughly May to November):
- North boat ramp
- Army Corps of Engineers public restrooms located near Arrowhead North and Observation Mound by the Roush dam.
- Kil-So-Quah SRA Campground
- J.E. Roush Lake main office
J.E. Roush Lake FWA contains a reservoir that frequently experiences flooding when the property undergoes extensive rain in a short period of time. Recreational areas such as the campground, boat ramp, and some roads may be closed during flooding seasons. Contact the property for the most up-to-date closure information at 260-468-2165.
- J.E. Roush Lake FWA has 15 miles of river and 200 acres of impoundments open to fishing. You can find locations on the Where to Fish map.
- Fish species in the main lake include channel catfish, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and more. Walleye can be found below the dam in the river. Impoundment species include largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish.
- Motorized boats are allowed on J.E. Roush Lake only. Please use the concrete boat ramp located off S.R. 224 at Kil-So-Quah SRA. No swimming is allowed at ramp. Non-motorized boats and electric motors are allowed on both J.E. Roush Lake and its impoundments. No ramps are provided on the impoundments.
- Boat launch permits are not required at J.E. Roush Lake FWA.
- When the North boat ramp floods, the South boat ramp off Division Road will temporarily be open for access. Please use extreme caution because this ramp is steep and flood debris is often present there and on the lake.
- Shoreline fishing is available at the boat ramp and around the main lake and impoundments.
- There is a 14-inch size limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass.
- On Rock Creek, smallmouth bass fishing is catch-and-release only.
- See Fishing Regulations for details. Daily check-in is required.
- Hunting for furbearers, deer, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, and wild turkey is common at J.E. Roush Lake FWA.
- All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. Daily check-in is required. See Hunting Regulations for details.
- Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details at office.
- Shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is not allowed.
- Additional hunting opportunities are available, including youth hunts for deer, turkey, and waterfowl.
- 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. Fasteners (e.g., screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers) and anything else used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree or pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch is prohibited.
- Dove drawings are held at the office location at 11 a.m. September 1 & 2 only. The property is self check-in September 3 and after to the end of season.
- Put-and-take pheasant hunting starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with online sign-up starting in September. Doors open at 7 a.m. at the office location and close at 3:30 p.m. for the reserved put-and-take pheasant hunt.
- During the put-and-take, only reserved pheasant hunters are allowed to pheasant hunt in units 17-23. Other hunting activities that are in season are allowed in some units, so please be aware that other hunters could be in these units.
- Put-and-take hunters are only allowed to hunt pheasants while hunting. The shooting of woodcock, rabbits, etc. while pheasant hunting during the put-and-take is prohibited.
- For the turkey no-show drawing, doors open by 4:30 a.m. at the office location, and the no-show drawing is at 5:30 a.m.
- During turkey season, including youth turkey dates, only turkey hunters are allowed on the property until after 1 p.m.
- Shooting range
- A state-of-the-art shooting range is located at 1002 E. Division Road, Huntington, IN 46750. The phone number is 260-468-2416.
- Ranges are available for archery, handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
- The shooting range is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis during business hours of the range and only when certified range safety officers are on duty.
- Range fees will be charged. ($5/day adults, $2/day youth; trap and skeet range prices are $5 per round.)
- Hours of operation are as follows:
- Open: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday – Sunday
- Closed: Monday and Tuesday, Thanksgiving Day Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
- Winter Hours for January and February: Open: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Closed: Monday – Thursday
- See the Fish & Wildlife Area Shooting Ranges webpage for more details.
- Trapping is allowed on property by draw only. Daily check-in is required. View statewide trapping regulations in the Hunting & Trapping Guide.
- The trapping draw is held the first Saturday in October at 10 a.m. Contact the property office for special conditions.
- Wildlife watching & birding
J.E. Roush Lake FWA is a long, narrow property along the floodplain of the Wabash River. It provides excellent wildlife watching throughout the year, and the spring is great for waterfowl.
Biking at J.E. Roush Lake FWA is limited to county roads. There are no mountain biking trails.
- The campground has 41 electric sites ($15/day) and 20 primitive sites ($12/day). Visitors must pay upon arrival at the campground registration station.
- Pit toilets are available in the campground. Water is available seasonally.
- All campsites have fire rings and picnic tables. Camping is open all year on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The maximum stay is 14 days, after which you must leave the FWA for a minimum of 48 hours.
- Camping, picnicking, and open campfires are allowed in the campground only. Picnicking is allowed at the Kil-So-Quah SRA boat ramp area. Unloaded firearms, unstrung bows and arrows, and air guns maybe be possessed, but not used, in the camping and picnic areas. Swimming is prohibited.
- Dog running
- Dog training is allowed only in Unit 22.
- During dog running season, dogs can be used for active pursuit of game.
- Daily check-in is required.
- Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered; however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
- All property users must sign in and obtain a one-day card. For this activity visitors would use the miscellaneous card.
- Please note that during spring turkey season, no other visitors are allowed on the property until after 1 p.m. ET. Please call the office for dates and any questions.
- Hiking & walking
- Hiking and walking are allowed on the property; however, sign-in is required, and a miscellaneous card must be obtained.
- Access lanes are mowed a few times a year and are available for a more backcountry hiking experience.
- It is recommended that this activity be conducted in safety zones on the property during hunting seasons. Wearing orange or a bright color is advised for safety. Examples of safety zones include the campground, boat ramp, and the observation mound by the dam.
- Water recreation
- J.E. Roush Lake FWA has approximately 900 acres of lake and 350 acres of impoundments available for water recreation.
- Boat launch permits are not required at J.E. Roush Lake FWA.
- Swimming is prohibited.
- Canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are allowed.
- The North boat ramp is located off S.R. 224, Kil-So-Quah SRA.
- Other cartop launches are available, please see property map for locations.
- There is a self-service box for non-hunting activities at the Kil-So-Quah SRA boat ramp. Please use the permit card labeled miscellaneous for these activities.
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, invasive plant removal, painting, and more. Call the property office for details.
Other properties managed by this office
- Wilbur Wright FWA comprises 1,070 acres of river valleys and associated uplands in Henry County. The Big Blue River is the western boundary, and the dark, organic soil floodplain occupies approximately one-third of the property. The remainder of the property is the adjacent uplands and the Little Blue River valley. The property has areas of mature woods, fallow cropland, prairie grasses and forbs, and other areas of early to mid-successional habitat. The property also has areas of annual and perennial wildlife food plots. There is a small wetland near the Big Blue River. A trapping draw is held at Wilbur Wright FWA the first Saturday of October at 10 a.m. ET. You must have a trapping license and be signed in before 10 a.m. ET to participate.
- Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area is a 210-acre public property with a concrete boat ramp and bass, bluegill, and catfish fishing. This area also offers upland game, woodland, and waterfowl hunting. It has a self-service check-in station on site and has a mandatory check-in for hunting. No check-in is required for fishing. A draw is held online for opening weekend of waterfowl season and, for only those two days, waterfowl hunting is restricted only to drawn waterfowl hunters.
- Randolph County Wildlife Management Area is a 519-acre public property that offers upland, woodland, and waterfowl hunting.
- Modoc Wildlife Management Area is a 167-acre public property that offers upland and woodland hunting.
- Dog training is not allowed on the above properties; dogs can only be used for active pursuit of game.
- To learn more about the location and types of activity on these properties, view the Where to Hunt map.