Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area
Winslow, IN 47598
Office hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET
Sugar Ridge 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.
- 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.
- The Sugar Ridge FWA Area 3 Shooting Range (rifle/handgun) is operating under winter hours until at least July 30, 2021 due to a construction project taking place downrange. If you have any questions, please call the office at 812-789-2724 during normal hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area is unique in that much of the land has been strip-mined. Sugar Ridge is made up of six separate areas, totaling approximately 8,100 acres. The strip-mined land now features about 100 pits and lakes, along with rows of overburden from the mining operation. The land that has not been mined is mostly rough and rolling.
A large part of the land which is now Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area (Areas I, II and III) was once leased from Amax Coal Company. The leasing began in 1964 and continued until 1980 when most of the land was donated to the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Currently, only Area VI is still leased through Gray Farms, Inc. Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Sugar Ridge 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. Indiana hunters and anglers are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.
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.
Please call the office if you need assistance with this.
- Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area provides approximately 145 acres in 24 major fishing pits.
- Major fish species include bluegill, redear, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.
- Shoreline fishing is available at some pits.
- Accessible fishing available on West Twin pit (Area I).
- Boat ramps are available at most pits on Areas I, II, III, and VI.
- Electric motor only, 12-volt max.
- All state size and bag limits apply, including the minimum size limit for largemouth bass, which is 14 inches.
- Bow and spear fishing is permitted according to state fishing laws.
- No boat rental provided.
- Deer, squirrel, and wild turkey are common at Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area.
- Self-service check in is required. Self-service permit stations are located on Areas I, III, V, and VI. Daily permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter to enter the field. The cards must be returned to any one of the drop boxes at the end of the day.
- Drop boxes are located throughout the property.
- All hunting season and bag limits apply.
- Night and predator hunting is provided by self-service check in.
- Area III - Designated dog training.
- Deer stands are allowed overnight between Sept. 15 and Jan. 10. Tree stands must be marked with the owner’s name, address, and phone number or the owner’s DNR Customer ID Number.
- Trapping is available through drawing only. Contact the office for details.
- 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.
- 8,100 acres of upland game habitat, wooded reclaimed mine areas and stripper pits attract a wide variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, hawks, and waterfowl.
- Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered; however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
- Shooting ranges for shotgun, rifle, and archery are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
- All shooters must obey range rules and regulations.
- There is no charge for use.
- Please visit the Fish & Wildlife Area Shooting Ranges webpage for hours.
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.
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 on Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area must be obtained before entering the field.
- Daily hunt permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the self-service permit stations. Permit drop boxes are located in various locations on the property for your convenience.