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J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area

J.E. Roush Lake
517 N. Warren Road
Huntington, IN 46750
Office Hours: M-F, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
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  • Description


    J.E. (J. Edward) Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 7,347 acres of land, 900 acres of lake, and 350 acres of impoundments. The property, which is approximately 15 miles long, is a long narrow band along the Wabash River.

    J.E. Roush Lake, also known as Huntington Lake, was constructed in 1967 and is one of the three Upper Wabash Valley Lakes operating primarily as a unit with Mississinewa and Salamonie Lakes to control flood waters along the Wabash River Basin. J.E. Roush Lake also works secondarily with other lakes downstream in reduction of lower Wabash and Ohio River floods. The lake provides benefits to nearly 60,000 acres of agricultural lands and general recreational activities associated with hunting and fishing. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partners with Indiana Department of Natural Resources under a lease agreement. Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife operates and maintains the recreation facilities and wildlife areas at the lake. J.E. Roush Lake was operated by Indiana Division of Reservoirs until 1998 and then by the Indiana Division of State Parks and Reservoirs until 2010.

    Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. Funds are also derived from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on the sport hunting, shooting and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and fisherman are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

  • Activities



    • J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area has 15 miles of river and 200 acres of impoundments open to fishing.
    • No check in is required for fishing.
    • Primary species in the main lake include channel catfish, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and rough fish. Walleye can be found below the dam in the river. Impoundment species include largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish.
    • Motorized boats are allowed on J.E. Roush Lake only. Please use the concrete boat ramp located off of state highway 224 at Kil-So-Quah Recreation Area. No swimming allowed at ramp. Non-motorized boats and electric motors are allowed on both J.E. Roush Lake and its impoundments. No ramps provided on impoundments.
    • Shoreline fishing is available at boat ramp and around the main lake and impoundments.
    • There is a 14 inch size limit for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
    • On Rock Creek smallmouth bass is catch and release only.
    • See Fishing Regulations for details.


    • Hunting for furbearers, deer, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, and wild turkey is common at J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area.
    • 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).
    • Daily check-in is required. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.
    • Special hunts include mourning dove, turkey hunting and put-take pheasant hunts.
    • Dove drawing is at 11 a.m.
    • Put-and-take pheasant hunting starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with sign up online starting September 1. Doors open at 7 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. for the reserved put-and-take pheasant hunt.
    • For the turkey no-show drawing, doors open by 4:30 a.m. and the no-show drawing is at 5:30 a.m.
    • Dog training is only allowed in Area 22.
    • Please respect private land owner’s property adjacent to our state land.
    • The trapping draw is the first Saturday in October at 10 a.m. Contact the property office for special conditions.
    • Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available. Ask for details at office.
    • Additional hunting opportunities include youth hunts for deer, dove, turkey, and waterfowl.
    • Read more about hunting and trapping.



    • The campground has 41 electric sites and 14 primitive sites. All camp sites have fire rings and picnic tables. Camping is open all year on a first come first serve basis. The maximum stay is 14 days.
    • Water fountains and pit toilets are available in the campground.
    • Camping, picnicking, and open campfires are allowed in the campground only. Picnicking is allowed at the Kil-So-Quah boat ramp area. Unloaded firearms, unstrung bows and arrows, and air guns maybe be possessed, but not used in the camping and picnic areas. No Swimming is allowed.

    Wildlife Watching

    • J.E. Roush Lake is a long narrow property along the flood plain of the Wabash River. It provides excellent wildlife watching throughout the year and the spring is great for waterfowl. Mushroom hunting is not allowed until after 1 p.m. during turkey season.

    Neighboring Land

    • Salamonie Lake, managed by the Indiana State Parks, is located within 15 miles. Phone (260) 468-2125.

    Shooting Range

    • A state-of-the-art shooting range is located at 1002 E. Division Road, Huntington, IN 46750, Phone (260) 468-2416. Shooting ranges are open to the public on a first come, first-served basis during business hours of the range and only when certified range safety officers are on duty. Range fees will be charged. ($4/day adults, $2/day youth; trap and skeet range prices are $5 per round.) See shooting range webpage for hours.

      NO Swimming Allowed.

      Please Read and Obey All Signs.

  • Rules


    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.

    Posted Areas

    Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting areas, and other restricted areas are marked by 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 & 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 hunting and or fishing license the following permits are required:

    • One-day hunting permit cards must obtained before entering the field. Permit cards are available at property sign in stations. Cards must be in the possession of the hunter at all times. Permit cards must be completed and dropped in a drop box upon hunt completion. Self-service drop boxes are located throughout the property for your convenience.
    • No shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is allowed.
    • Collecting permits are required from the property manager or DNR for the collection of everything except nuts, berries, and mushrooms.


    Traffic on public roads through the area is governed by the state county laws. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicle, is restricted to walking. Parking is allowed in designated parking 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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