Language Translation
  Close Menu

Paddlecraft Wildlife Index

Person and dog kayaking

“This was my first year paddling. I'd like to say, ‘I had a sense of worth feeling’! I felt as if I truly did something worthwhile.”
“I was canoeing with my two sons who were 5 and 7 at the time down the White River, between Yorktown and Daleville. As we were paddling, we spotted a bald eagle in a tree and it flew from tree to tree along the river with us for a quite a ways. It was a neat experience for my boys.“
“I have been close to shore and had deer step out and stare. I have been on the water in my kayak and osprey splash down real close and grab a fish. I have had a pair of gars cruise along in front of my kayak for some distance.”

quotes from volunteers

Paddle and provide data to promote wildlife!

Paddling is a great way to enjoy Indiana’s natural beauty, observe wildlife, and connect with nature. Indiana paddlers have a unique opportunity to observe wildlife while enjoying Indiana’s countless water resources. Indiana DNR would like more information about the wildlife that spend time around Indiana’s waterways. The Indiana Paddlecraft Wildlife Index compiles wildlife observations from people who use canoes, kayaks, or other non-motorized paddlecraft on Indiana’s waterways. Volunteer paddlers can help by completing a paddling trip postcard documenting the wildlife they observed while floating from June 1 to July 31.

The DNR has selected some key species that are either challenging to study or are lacking Indiana-specific information. The species selected are also those paddlers may be able to easily identify. These include:

Indiana Paddlecraft Index form

What do biologists do with this data?

The Paddlecraft Wildlife Index documents the number of wildlife seen per hours floated and per miles floated. After several years, these numbers will allow wildlife managers to estimate changes in key wildlife populations over time. With paddlers’ help, Indiana DNR may also gain insight into new locations where these wildlife are living.

How can I help?

Hoosiers who paddle can help Indiana DNR to collect information that will help the department manage wildlife for future generations by signing up at the link below. Forms, instructions, and a simple identification key for the selected wildlife to report will be mailed a few weeks before the survey period begins, or within 3-5 business days during the survey window. If you sign up within a few days of the end of the survey period, we'll add you to the volunteer list for next year. If you signed up a previous year, you don't need to sign up again.

Want to find a place to paddle? Learn about Indiana water trails.

Questions about the survey? Contact us.

Please help spread the word to fellow paddlers about this opportunity. The more volunteers, the better we’ll understand wildlife in Indiana.

Sign up to volunteer

 Upcoming Events

More Events

 Top FAQs