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Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area

Wilbur Wright FWA
Managed by J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area
Mailing Address:
517 N. Warren Road
Huntington, IN 46750

Location Address:
2239 N. State Road 103
New Castle, IN 47362
J. E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area
Office Hours: M-F, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. ET
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Wilbur Wright FWA advisories

  • None at this time.
  • Description

    Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area is 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. There is an ADA accessible hunting area on the property (mix of upland and woodland).

    Wilbur Wright was surplus state lands transferred from the Indiana Department of Mental Health (New Castle State Hospital) to the Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks in 1972. The acreage was then transferred to the Division of Fish & Wildlife in 1974, when wildlife management began. Tree plantings were made and food plots planted throughout the property.

    Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area are derived from the sales of hunting, fishing and trapping license 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 fisherman are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

  • Activities


    • Fishing is available on the Big Blue and Little Blue Rivers that run through the property.
    • Big Blue is stocked with rainbow trout once a year, providing trout as well as carp and smallmouth bass fishing. Trout fishing on the Big Blue River begins 6 a.m. on the last Saturday in April.  There is no fishing allowed in the Big Blue River from April 15 until the last Saturday in April.
    • Only shoreline fishing is available at Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area.
    • A boat ramp is available at nearby Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area.
    • No check-in is required.


    • Deer, rabbit, quail, squirrel, dove, woodcock and waterfowl are common at Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area.
    • Waterfowl hunting at Province Pond is by reserve draw for the first two days of the season only. More information on reserve draw waterfowl hunting at Province Pond can be found here.
    • Check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See hunting regulations for details.
    • Dog training is allowed.
    • Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details at the headquarters.
    • 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.


    • Wetland Trapping is available through drawing only. Call 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

    • 1070 acres of upland, marsh, and wooded habitat areas attract over 200 species to the property.
    • Area is an excellent songbird viewing area all year round.
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils. No treasure hunting allowed.
    • No sign in is required to wildlife watch, scout, and hike.

    Shooting Ranges

    • Shooting ranges are open to the public on a first-come first-serve basis.
    • All shooters must obey range rules and regulations.
    • Visit the Fish & Wildlife Area Shooting Ranges webpage for hours.

    Neighboring Land

    • Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area is a 210-acre public property managed by Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area with a concrete boat ramp, ideal for bass, bluegill and catfish. This area also offers upland game, woodland, and waterfowl hunting. This area has a self-service check-in station on site and has a mandatory check-in for hunting. No check-in is required for fishing.
    • Randolph County Wildlife Management Area is a 519-acre public property managed by Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area and offers upland, woodland and waterfowl hunting.
    • Modoc Wildlife Management Area is a 167-acre public property managed by Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area and offers upland and woodland hunting.
    • Dog training is not allowed on the above properties, only active pursuit of game.
    • Summit Lake State Park is a 2,550-acre park with a large lake, beach, boat ramps, and 125 class A campsites.

      NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

      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.


    In addition to a hunting and/or fishing license, the following permits are required:

    • Hunters must sign in on a waiver at a sign-in box or at the Wilbur Wright FWA main office (covered porch area).
    • Dog training is allowed only on Wilbur Wright FWA, not on any satellite properties.
    • No check-in or written permission is required for fishing. There is a minimum size limit or 14 inches for largemouth bass in effect on all state-owned, operated, or leased waters.
  • Maps