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Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area

Hovey Lake FWA
15800 Raben Road South
Mt. Vernon, IN 47620
Office Hours: M, T, Th, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CT)
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  • Description


    Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area is a unique natural area nestled in the Ohio River and Wabash River floodplains in extreme southwest Indiana. Hovey Lake FWA covers approximately 7,404 acres and features a 1,400 acre oxbow lake, other smaller sloughs, marshes and extensive bottomland hardwood forests. Hovey Lake is dedicated to providing and maintaining quality hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities.

    The land presently called Hovey Lake FWA has a long history. It was ceded to the state in treaties of 1803 and 1809 and was designated as swampland. The land was then granted to the Wabash and Erie Canal Company. During the 1880s it became the property of Charles J. Hovey. The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife began acquiring this property in 1939. Additional lands were acquired at other times through purchase or lease from the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Hovey Lake FWA 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.

  • Activities



    • Boat fishing is allowed, with a 10 mph limit enforced.
    • No check-in required for fishing.
    • All state size and bag limits apply.
    • Lake closed to fishing and boating during fall and winter for waterfowl hunting season. Check with property for current year’s dates.


    • The most common game species include waterfowl, deer, turkey and squirrel; however all the major game species are found on Hovey Lake FWA.
    • Hovey Lake FWA uses a combination of restricted areas, restricted hunter numbers, daily drawings, preseason drawings and self-service permit check-in to control hunting efforts. Check with the property for current regulations.
    • Flooding often limits hunting opportunities. Check with property for current water conditions.

    Deer Hunting

    • Archery, Firearm, and Muzzleloader seasons are by self-service check in. Hunters must sign in at one of the information/sign in booths located on the property.
    • Tree stands are allowed on the property from Sept. 15 – Jan. 10. Stands must have owner information attached including name, address and phone number, or DNR Customer Identification Number.
    • The use of bonus antlerless licenses is prohibited on the property.
    • The unit behind the lake is closed to deer hunting starting the Friday before firearms season.

    Waterfowl Hunting

    • Daily drawings are held at 4:30 a.m. during the regular waterfowl season.
    • Hunting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. at draw units.
    • Hunting is permitted on units not included in the draw system by self-service check in from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.
    • Reserve hunt days are Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Hunters can sign up online for these hunts during September.
    • No hunting is permitted in the Waterfowl Resting Area.
    • Waterfowl hunters may possess a maximum of 25 shot shells daily during the teal, duck, and dark goose seasons.

    Turkey Hunting

    • The first five days of spring turkey season will be reserved hunts that can be applied for online. There will be a stand-by drawing these days for unfilled spots at 4:30 a.m.
    • Hunting is by self-service check in for the remainder of the spring season.
    • Fall Turkey hunting is by self-service check in.


    • Wetland trapping is allowed through a special drawing at the Hovey Lake FWA office. Drawing date is the first Saturday in October. Call the office for details.

    Wildlife Watching

    • More than 7,400 acres of upland habitat, marshes, sloughs and woods attract a wide variety of song birds, raptors and waterfowl.

    Additional Opportunities

    • Check with property for current hunting season information.
    • Mushrooms, berries and nuts may be gathered; however, a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

    Camping and Swimming Prohibited

    Please Read and Obey All Signs


  • Rules


    IIn 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. Pursuant to the Authority of Chapter 60, Acts of 1919, Chapter 120 and Chapter 441, Acts of 1965: and the Indiana Code of 1971, 14-3-3.

    Posted Areas 

    Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting areas, 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 licenses, one of the following permits will be required:

    • Permission to hunt during the day on Hovey Lake FWA 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 at various sites on the property for your convenience.
    • No shooting of woodchucks (groundhogs) is allowed.


    Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by state and county laws. Traffic use of area roads is limited to those shown on the property map. All other service roads and trails are restricted to walking, except by authorized vehicles. No horses permitted beyond county roads. Parking in designated lots only.


    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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