Sugar Ridge FWA advisories
- Properties are operating hunt and trap draws differently in this year due to COVID-19. View the property procedures.
- 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.
- Sugar Ridge FWA will be conducting aerial herbicide applications between Sept. 21 – Oct. 2. Some areas will be closed temporarily for applications and reopen 48 hours after treatments are completed. Applications will not take place on a Saturday or Sunday. For more information regarding closures, please contact the property office at 812-789-2724.
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 and 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 and 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 and 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 fishermen are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.
- Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area provides approximately 145 acres in 24 major fishing pits. No check in is required for fishing.
- Major fish species include bluegill, redear, channel catfish, 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 and Wildlife Area.
- Self-service check in is required. Self-service permit stations are located on Areas 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 song birds, woodpeckers, hawks, and waterfowl.
- Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
- You do not need to sign in to scout, hike, or wildlife watch.
- 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:
- Permission to hunt during the on Sugar Ridge Fish and 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. Hunter permit drop boxes are located in various locations on the property for your convenience.
- No check-in is required for fishing.