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Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area

Managed by Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area
Office Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET
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Blue Grass 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.
  • All Blue Grass FWA bodies of water will be closed to anyone not signed in to hunt on the following dates: Nov. 7-22 and Nov. 28-Feb. 14. Blue Grass FWA will also be closed to fishing from Nov. 7-22 and Nov. 28-Feb 14. In addition, waterbodies within the waterfowl resting area will be closed to all activities from Nov. 7-Feb. 14. 

  • Description

    Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area is a unique natural resource area because all of the land has been stripmined. Blue Grass covers approximately 2,532 acres and features about 28 pits and lakes (600 acres of water). Blue Grass is dedicated to providing and maintaining quality hunting, fishing and wildlife watching opportunities.

    The area is named after Blue Grass Creek, which lies just east of the property. Amax Coal Company began mining operations in October 1973, and ceased operations in 1993. Re-vegetation was carried out using herbaceous cover and woody species planted in clumps and strips. This is a unique area, one that offers outdoor enthusiasts an array of opportunity. Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Blue Grass 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.

  • Activities


    • Seven boat ramps are available on five pits.
    • Outboards are permitted on Blue Grass, Otter and Loon pits at idle speed only. Electric trolling motors only on all other pits.
    • Blue Grass is closed to fishing during the regular south zone waterfowl hunting seasons.
    • Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area provides approximately 600 acres of water in 28 pits. No check in is required for fishing.
    • An 18-inch size limit for largemouth bass and 2 fish bag limit is in effect on Blue Grass Pit and Loon Pit. A 14-inch size limit for largemouth bass on all other pits. All other state size and bag limits apply.
    • Fishing for largemouth bass, black and white crappie, catfish and muskie is common. Other species, such as bluegill, redear and river species, are present.
    • Fishing areas for the disabled are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.


    • Deer, quail, rabbit, and waterfowl are common at Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area.
    • Self-service check-in is required. A self-service permit station is located on the property. Daily permit cards must be in the possession of the hunter to enter the field. The cards must be returned to any of the drop boxes at the end of the day. Drop boxes are located throughout the property.
    • Special Guidelines:
    • Waterfowl hunting is allowed one half hour before sunrise until noon (local time) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Hunting in waterfowl resting area is not allowed. Blinds may be constructed but must be removed at the end of the hunt day.
    • Small Game hunting is permitted on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday during legal hunting hours.
    • Deer hunting is allowed every day during deer season, during legal hunting hours.
    • Spring turkey hunting is allowed every day during the spring turkey season, one-half hour before sunrise until noon CDT.
    • Fall turkey hunting is allowed every day during the fall turkey season, during legal hunting hours.
    • Dog training is allowed only in the area north of Boonville-New Harmony Road.
    • Hunting areas for people with disabilities are available through written permit from Sugar Ridge FWA.


    • Wetland trapping by permit only. Trapping opportunities allocated through drawing. For details, call 812-789-2724

    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 2,500 acres of upland habitat, shallow impoundments and lakes attract a wide variety of song birds, hawks, and waterfowl.
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

      NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

      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 Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area 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 checking station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
    • Night and predator hunting is only permitted by daily permit cards from the property manager.
    • A permit from the Blue Grass headquarters is required to enter the waterfowl resting area.
    • No check-in or written permission is required for fishing. There is a minimum size limit of 14-inches for largemouth bass in effect on all state-owned, operated, or leased waters except for free flowing streams. Partial closures exist on five fishing areas during waterfowl hunting season.
    • A launching permit is NOT required on Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area.


  • Maps