Kankakee is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 4,199 acres, which includes open water, marshes, riparian timber, periodically flooded crop fields, and 11 miles of river.
The entire area is situated in what was the Kankakee Grand Marsh, which once covered hundreds of thousands of acres. Most of the marsh was drained in the late 1800s for agricultural use.
In 1927, the state purchased 2,312 acres of the remaining marsh for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, housing as many as 400 men. The area later became established as a game preserve, and during the 50s, waterfowl management was undertaken by the state. In 1982, another 1,016 acres were added and in 1992 an additional 767 acres. 104 acres were added in 2010.
To sign up for updates from Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area, email to KankakeeFWAHunterInfo@dnr.IN.gov.
- Area provides over 45 miles of available water in rivers and ditches.
- Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season.
- Primary species include bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, northern pike, redear and walleyed pike.
- Motor restrictions: A maximum of 24-volt electric motors are allowed. Outboard motors are permitted on rivers only.
- There is a 14-inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass for all area waters, except within the Kankakee and Yellow rivers where the size limit is 12 inches. All other size and bag limits apply. See Fishing Regulations for details.
- Two boat ramps are provided; one on State Highway 8 at the Kankakee River bridge and the second at the town of English Lake at the confluence of the Kankakee and Yellow rivers.
- Bank fishing is allowed except where posted.
- Hunting and fishing areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available.
- Deer, quail, rabbit, dove, woodcock, waterfowl and wild turkey are present.
- Daily check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.
- Ask at property headquarters for opening date of corn unit. The normal corn hunting schedule is as follows:
- Sunrise to noon daily
- Canada Goose Hunting will be done through hunt draws on Sunday and Thursday at 5 a.m. Central Time after the last waterfowl season
- Waterfowl hunting is allowed only from designated blinds, pits and units.
- 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).
- All hunters must be registered and/or signed in by 4:30 a.m. for waterfowl hunting at the check station. Waterfowl reservation days are opening weekend and every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Dove drawings are at 11 a.m. until unnecessary. All other hunting is self-service.
- Kankakee provides boats and oars for most blinds. Individuals may use a trolling motor and must bring a life jacket to be worn.
- Trapping draw is first Saturday in October at 10 a.m.
- Ten-Mile Road is closed for waterfowl hunting only during the waterfowl season.
- Other Activities
4,199 acres of riparian woodlands, wetlands, marsh and farm land attract deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, hawks, owls, osprey, bald eagle and a wide variety of species. The Grand Kankakee Marsh was known world wide for its waterfowl
Six wetland Conservation Areas are administered through this property.
- Bittern Bog Wetland Conservation Area (74 acres)
- Dick Blythe Wetland Conservation Area (202 acres)
- Koontz Lake Wetland Conservation Area (58 acres)
- Round Lake Wetland Conservation Area (188 acres)
- Sprig Slough Wetland Conservation Area (109 acres)
- Turkey Foot Wetland Conservation Area (153 acres)
Sign-in is not required for scouting, fishing, hiking or wildlife watching.
Wild berries, nuts and spring and fall mushrooms may be gathered from the property. Mushroom hunters may not enter field until noon during spring turkey season.
NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.
Please Read and Obey All Signs.
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.
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 day must be obtained before entering the field. Daily hunt permit cards must be in possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
- Night and predator hunting: Daily hunt permit cards must be in possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
- Waterfowl hunting is permitted through a drawing system and registration at the checking station. One-day permit cards will be provided at that time. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
- No check-in or written permission is required for fishing. Fishing areas are restricted during waterfowl season. Please ask for details in headquarters.
- A lake permit is NOT required.
- Collecting permits are required from the property manager or DNR for the collecting of anything except nuts, berries, and mushrooms.
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. Please be courteous to neighboring landowners. Look for property boundary and safety zone signs. Stay at least 500 feet inside boundaries. Do not trespass on private property. No ATVs, snowmobiles, or horses are allowed on the property.
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.
Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area
4320 W. Toto Road
North Judson, IN 46366
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. CT
North Judson, IN 46366
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. CT