Main Content


Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area

Hovey Lake FWA
Office: 8401 State Road 69 South
Mount Vernon, IN 47620.
Office Hours: M, T, Th, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CT)
Property directions

Hovey Lake 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.

Upcoming events at Hovey Lake

  • 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.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • 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.

    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

    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 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.
  • Maps