Angler Dollars Fund Conservation
Indiana Freshwater Fishing
Fishing and hunting have a long history in Indiana, and Hoosiers have contributed to conservation since the first fishing license was sold in the early 1900s.
With future generations in mind, regulated fishing and hunting was established to protect fish and wildlife species from being overharvested.
Ever since, proceeds generated from licenses, including habitat and fish stamps, have gone directly into managing those species and their habitats, furthering conservation and recreation. The success of conserving our natural resources would not have been possible without this user-pay, user-benefit model, which remains in effect today.
In addition to licenses, an excise tax on fishing equipment, boat engines, motorboat fuel, and hunting equipment is collected for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers WSFR funds that are dedicated solely to the conservation of fish and wildlife.
The WSFR program began in 1937 and has distributed more than $20 billion across the nation for the conservation of fish and wildlife species and their habitats, and associated recreational opportunities. Indiana has received more than $300 million, including $18 million in 2018 alone.
The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife relies on the revenue generated from these dedicated funding programs.
License sales and WSFR funds currently contribute about 87 percent of the Division’s funding. In total, roughly 96 percent of all funding for the Division is from sources exclusive for fish and wildlife resources.
The majority of funds are generated from fishing and hunting activities, but the conservation programs benefit everyone. Whether it’s launching a canoe at a public access site, viewing sandhill cranes, or the public benefits gained from fish and habitat surveys to improve the quality of aquatic habitats, these are all supported by the license and WSFR funds.
Recreation related to fish and wildlife (including wildlife watching) is a $1.7 billion industry in Indiana that benefits businesses and contributes to the quality of life that Hoosiers desire.
Support from anglers and hunters is critical to sustaining healthy fish and wildlife populations and to providing recreational opportunities for current and future generations of Hoosiers.
Where to Fish
Looking for a place to fish?
The DNR can get you there with Where to Fish, an online interactive map that provides a wealth of information on hundreds of public access sites in Indiana.
The toolbar features a number of functions that allow you to search for locations by water body, county or DNR property; find driving directions; and print your findings.
Clicking on a specific site provides additional information about motor restrictions, ADA accessibility, shoreline fishing opportunities, applicable fees, what species of fish are common, fishing reports, and the site’s latitude and longitude (great for GPS users!).
Check it out.