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DNR: Fish & Wildlife: Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area

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Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area

Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area
4320 West Toto Road
North Judson, IN 46366
574-896-3522
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. CT
Email: KankakeeFWA@dnr.IN.gov 
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Kankakee FWA advisories

  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to protect Hoosiers and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Please visit on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19 for a listing of what is open, closed, restricted and canceled.
  • 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.
  • Description

    This property is a stop on the

    Indiana Birding Trail Logo

    Learn more at www.indianabirdingtrail.com.

    Kankakee FWA is dedicated to providing outdoor recreational opportunities while maintaining 4,199 acres, which includes open water, marshes, riparian timber, periodically flooded crop fields, and 11 miles of river.

    The entire area is situated in what was the Kankakee Grand Marsh, which once covered hundreds of thousands of acres. Most of the marsh was drained in the late 1800s for agricultural use.

    In 1927, the state purchased 2,312 acres of the remaining marsh for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that housed as many as 400 men. The area later became established as a game preserve, and during the 1950s, waterfowl management was undertaken by the State. In 1982 the property acquired 1,016 acres of private land that was developed into wildlife habitat. Ten years later in 1992, an additional 767 acres were added. The most recent addition to the property was 104 acres added in 2010.

    To sign up for updates from Kankakee FWA, email KankakeeFWA@dnr.IN.gov.

  • Activities

    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

    • This FWA provides over 45 miles of available water in rivers and ditches.
    • Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season. There is no vehicle access to Ten-Mile Road, but you can access on foot to fishing spots.
    • Primary species include bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, Northern pike, redear, and walleye.
    • Motor restrictions: A maximum of 24-volt electric motors are allowed. Outboard motors are permitted on rivers only.
    • There is a 14-inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass for all area waters, except within the Kankakee and Yellow rivers where the size limit is 12 inches. All other size and bag limits apply. See Fishing Regulations for details.
    • Two boat ramps are provided; one on S.R. 8 at the Kankakee River bridge and the second at the town of English Lake at the confluence of the Kankakee and Yellow rivers.
    • Bank fishing is allowed except where posted.
    • Fishing areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available.

    Hunting

    Deer

    • Deer are present on this property in the LaPorte Unit and other Kankakee FWA managed properties (please check maps for locations and rules).
    • Daily check-in is required at self-check-in stations on property (refer to map). Please fill out hunting permit and turn in at drop boxes. All hunting season dates and deer limits apply.
    • 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. 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 ( (i.e. anything that penetrates a tree more than a ½ inch is prohibited e.g. screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers).
    • Ten-Mile Road is closed to all activities but waterfowl hunting during the waterfowl season. No deer hunting is allowed at this location
    • Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available.

    Small Game

    • Quail, rabbit, dove, woodcock and pheasant are present.
    • Daily check-in is required at self-check-in stations on property (refer to map). Please fill out hunting permit and turn in at drop boxes. All hunting season dates and bag limits apply.
    • Dove drawings are held at 11 a.m. CT at Kankakee FWA headquarters until unnecessary. All other hunting is self-service.

    Waterfowl

    • Kankakee FWA provides habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl species.
    • Waterfowl harvest sheets are posted weekly at Kankakee FWA headquarters during waterfowl season.
    • All hunters must be registered and/or signed in by 4:30 a.m. CT for draw for waterfowl hunting at the Kankakee FWA headquarters. Waterfowl reservation days are opening weekend and every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. All other hunting is self-service.
    • Kankakee provides boats and oars for most blinds. Individuals may use a trolling motor and must bring a life jacket to be worn.
    • Ten-Mile Road is closed to all activity but waterfowl hunting during the waterfowl season.
    • Ask at property headquarters for opening date of corn unit. The normal corn hunting schedule is sunrise to noon daily. The corn opener is normally around Nov. 1.
    • Waterfowl hunting is allowed only from designated blinds, and units
    • Canada Goose hunting will be done through hunt draws on Sunday and Thursday at 5 a.m. CT after the last waterfowl season.

    Trapping

    • Trapping draw is the first Saturday in October at 10 a.m.
    • Trapping is done in designated areas. See map for areas and rules.

    Hunting by boat Boy holding duck

    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.
    • Volunteer day: Dressing of the blinds for waterfowl hunting is the last Saturday in September.

    Wildlife Watching

    4,199 acres of riparian woodlands, wetlands, marsh and farm land attract deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, hawks, owls, osprey, bald eagle and a wide variety of species. The Grand Kankakee Marsh was known worldwide for its waterfowl.

    Bird

    Kankakee Managed Areas

    Six wetland conservation areas are managed through this property:

  • 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.
    • Permission to hunt during the day 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 on the property for your convenience.
    • Night and predator hunting: 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 on the property for your convenience.
    • Waterfowl hunting is permitted through a drawing system and registration at the checking station. One-day permit cards will be provided at that time. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
    • Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season. Please ask for details in headquarters.
    • A Lake Permit is NOT required to boat at DNR fish & wildlife areas.
  • Maps