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Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area

Sugar Ridge FWA
2310 East SR 364 
Winslow, IN 47598
Office hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., ET 
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  • Description


    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.

    Frequently Asked Questions

  • Activities



    • 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.


    • Trapping is available through drawing only. Contact the office for details.

    Wildlife watching

    • 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.

    Neighboring land

    Additional opportunities

    • Trapping is available through drawing only. Contact the office for details.
    • Mushrooms, berries and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils. Contact the office for details.
    • Target ranges: Target ranges for shotgun, rifle, and archery are open to the public. All shooters must obey range rules and regulations. There is no charge for use.

    NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

    Please Read and Obey All Signs.

  • Rules


    In addition to state fish and wildlife laws, this property is governed by posted regulations affecting the public use of lands and facilities owned, leased, or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.

    Posted Areas

    Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting, and other restricted areas are marked with appropriate signs. PLEASE READ AND OBEY ALL SIGNS.


    Violation of any law, rule, or regulation governing this property may be cause to forfeit your hunting, fishing, or visiting privileges on this area.


    The Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, will not be held responsible for any accidents or deaths occurring from the use of these facilities.


    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.


    Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by state and county laws. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicles, is restricted to walking. No motorized vehicles, horses or bicycles are permitted beyond county roads.


    All DNR properties managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife, unless otherwise noted, have spring turkey hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon (CT) or 1 p.m. (ET). Mushroom hunters are required to stay out of the field until after this time. Contact the property you are planning to visit for more information.

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