LaSalle 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.
LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 3,797 acres of hardwood forests, cropland and fallow fields, marshes, brush, and open water. Bisected by the Kankakee River, LaSalle is an ideal stopover for migratory birds.
The area around LaSalle was once part of the grand Kankakee Marsh. Acquisition of the land began in 1952. About 1,800 acres were purchased and became Kankakee River State Park. In 1963, after additional acreage was acquired, it was determined that the land was better suited for use as a fish and wildlife area. It was then renamed LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area.BLACK OAK BAYOU
When is Black Oak Bayou open to the public?
Black Oak Bayou will open each year at the end of waterfowl season (consult waterfowl seasons for exact dates) and will remain open through Aug. 15 each year.
Will we still be allowed to fish, kayak, etc?
Yes. Once waterfowl season closes and the gate is opened, all access is once again allowed until Aug. 15.
Will the road be open to traffic?
Yes. Once waterfowl season closes, the gate will be unlocked and traffic will once again be allowed on the road.
Are you going to let all of the water out of Black Oak?
No. Our goal in managing Black Oak is to lower the water just enough to expose some mud flats and allow vegetation to grow each year. We want to achieve a variety of water depths throughout Black Oak to promote the greatest diversity of species.
When will the drawdowns take place each year?
The target for drawdown will be around March/April each year. This will likely vary depending on weather and river levels. This will be a gradual drawdown to allow for the greatest diversity of vegetation to establish. These drawdowns are not new. Black Oak has water control structures on both the east and west ends to allow for water manipulation to mimic the natural rising and falling levels of the river.
When will Black Oak Bayou water levels be raised back up?
Water levels will begin to increase around August at a gradual pace until the desired depth is reached.
Can we still ice fish on Black Oak Bayou?
Yes. Ice fishing will open at either the end of waterfowl season or complete ice up, whichever comes first. Call the LaSalle Check station during office hours at 219-992-3019 to find out if Black Oak Bayou is open for ice fishing.
Is hunting allowed?
No. Hunting is not allowed within Black Oak Bayou. This area now serves as the property’s resting area, meaning no hunting is allowed year-round.
Why are you spraying herbicide on Black Oak Bayou?
Herbicide is used to control aggressive native and non-native species that have established in the bayou. These species include common reed (Phragmites spp.), American lotus (Nelumbo lutea), buttonbush (Cephalantus occidentalis) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). The reason for controlling these plants is to allow for the greatest diversity of vegetation possible that will in turn benefit the greatest number of species.
Will this herbicide affect wildlife in the bayou?
No. The herbicide used is approved by the EPA for aquatic application in a wetland and will not affect wildlife in the treatment areas. The herbicide will be applied by a certified applicator (either by helicopter, by a licensed professional, or by hand by registered property staff) and will be used in a selective and targeted manner in areas that have become overrun with a monoculture of aggressive plants. This is not a new practice and has been used with positive results on other state Fish & Wildlife Areas. Other state and federal wildlife agencies have also used this herbicide throughout North America to control invasive plant species and promote plant diversity in wetland wildlife habitat.
What are the overall benefits of doing these drawdowns and herbicide treatments?
The benefits include increasing the diversity of vegetation and wildlife in Black Oak Bayou. Wetlands were once the dominant habitat in northwest Indiana. This project will help to restore a roughly 240-acre wetland to once again benefit all wildlife along the Kankakee River. The resulting increase in diversity will allow for wildlife viewing opportunities for the public. Another benefit is that once restored, Black Oak will provide an ideal stopover for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl in the winter and spring, providing them with the necessary food and cover during their migration. In spring and early summer during drawdown periods, Black Oak will provide nesting and brood-rearing habitat to many wetland species.
What other areas on the property will we be able to fish?
The Kankakee River and all of its bayous will be open to fishing outside of waterfowl season as always. Also White Oak bayou is receiving attention to increase the quality of fishing opportunities. An ADA accessible fishing pier is scheduled to be installed this spring/summer, along with a new boat ramp this summer. The channel connecting White Oak Bayou to the Kankakee River will be dredged this spring to allow users to travel by boat to and from the bayou.
- Property provides fishing areas along the Kankakee River and bayous.
- No registration is required for fishing. Fishing areas are closed during waterfowl seasons. Ask for details at office.
- Primary species include bluegill, crappie, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, rock bass and rough fish.
- Boat ramps are available at Black Oak Bayou, White Oak Bayou and at State Line Road for the Kankakee River.
- Shoreline fishing is limited, but available.
- There is a 12- to 15-inch slot limit for black bass caught on the Kankakee River and its bayous. No more than two over 15 inches may be kept daily.
- 2019/20 Waterfowl Shooting Schedule
- LaSalle 2019 September Waterfowl Rules and Information
- NORCO Deer Hunt
- Ducks, geese, turkey, deer, quail, pheasant, rabbit, dove, squirrel, snipe, sora rails and woodcock are common.
- Waterfowl drawings are at 4:30 a.m. every day. Reserve hunters may come in early to register. Office opens at 4 a.m. on waterfowl draw days.
- Spring turkey hunting is by reservation only for the entire season. Stand-by draws for turkey hunting will be held at 4:30 a.m. CT for any remaining spots not filled by reserve hunters. Office opens at 4 a.m. during the spring turkey season.
- Sign in and registration required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See the current hunting regulations for details.
- Deer tree stands and ground blinds may be used and left unattended from noon, Sept. 15 through Jan. 10. Tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked in English with either the owner's DNR customer identification number or the owner’s name, address and telephone number. A fastener used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree or pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch is prohibited (anything that penetrates a tree more than a ½ inch is prohibited, i.e. screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers).
- Special reserve hunts include dove, turkey, and waterfowl hunts by drawing.
- Dove hunting is by preseason reservation for the first two days. We hold a standby drawing at 11:30 a.m. for any extra unfilled spots. After the first two days we will draw at 11 a.m. (if necessary). If hunting pressure and bird numbers are down, it is self-serve sign-in and hunt. Dove hunting hours are always subject to change, but are from noon to 5 p.m. for the first two days of the season. These hours are subject to change after the first two days.
- 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.
- Once part of the Grande Kankakee Marsh, LaSalle’s habitat provides an ideal stop over for migrating waterfowl. The month of March provides excellent waterfowl viewing opportunities.
- There is no need to sign in for hiking, fishing, or wildlife watching.
- Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks, and fossils.
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 day on LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area must be obtained before entering the field. Hunting badges or one-day hunting permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter at all times.
- Bagged game must be checked in through the check station or recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located throughout the property for your convenience.
- No shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is allowed.
- Night and predator hunting is only permitted by daily permit cards from the self-serve check station.
- Dog training is available in Area 3 only. Check-in at self-serve check station.