Close Menu

DNR State Fair Fishin' Pond

The 2020 Indiana State Fair is canceled. For more information, please visit the Indiana State Fair website.

DNR State Fair Fishin' Pond

Fishin' PondThe Learn to Fish program operates the Fishin’ Pond during the State Fair. The Fishin’ Pond started in 2006 to allow children ages 5-17 the opportunity to fish for free during the State Fair.

Parents sign up their kids at the registration table, families listen to a short talk about fishing safety, and then the kids can fish for up to 15 minutes. After fishing, the whole family can learn more about Indiana fish through a coloring activity and playing with fishy friends. Each year more than 3,000 kids fish at the pond and, for many of them, this is their first fishing experience. The program would not be such a success without the wonderful volunteers.


Would you like to volunteer? DNR recruits hundreds of people to help during the 17 days of the fair. Volunteers receive free admission to the fair, a free Fishin’ Pond T-shirt, and the opportunity to fish with kids for a few hours at the pond. If you don’t like touching worms, getting fishy, or standing in the sun, other volunteer needs are available. The pond has five volunteer stations and needs about 20 volunteers for each 3-hour fishing session:

  • Registration (2): You will help parents register their kids and let them know where they need to go next.
  • Speaker (2): You will speak to kids and their parents about fish, fishing, and the rules of the pond before the fishing begins.
  • Fishing (12): You will work directly with the kids and their families around the pond. You will assist 2-3 kids at a time during their fishing experience and help bait hooks, cast the cane pole, catch fish, and return fish to the water.
  • Equipment (2): You will tie knots to hooks and supply the fishing crew with ready-to-go cane poles.
  • Education (2): You will help kids with a hands-on, educational, craft activity, which will be supplied. You will also hand out take-home materials.

If you are interested in volunteering at the State Fair Fishin’ Pond, please start by creating a Volunteer Profile.

Register for a State Fair Fishin’ Pond shift

Registration for State Fair Fishin’ Pond shifts occurs from mid-May through mid-August. To register, sign in using your volunteer username and password and follow the directions below to register for a shift:

  1. Click “Register/Unregister for an Upcoming Event.”
  2. Select event by station (e.g. State Fair Fishing Pond – EDUCATION).
  3. Choose time slot.
  4. Click box to pick specific shift(s).
  5. Complete registration (the green checkmark shows you’re good to go – you’ll receive a confirmation email).

If you need additional assistance or have questions, email Learn2Fish@dnr.IN.gov.