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Message from the Director

Fishing Regulations Indiana Freshwater Fishing

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary this year of Indiana statehood, it’s worth recapping how regulations like the ones found in this booklet helped shape natural resources conservation in our state.

In 1847, Greene County passed Indiana’s first conservation law by making it illegal to poison fish. By the early 1870s, the state enacted a similar law, along with another that banned seining, netting, trapping or shooting fish, except in the Ohio and St. Joseph rivers.

Enforcing the rules wasn’t always easy back then. In 1911, then-Commissioner of Fisheries Enos B. Reed got his wish when game wardens – now called Conservation Officers – were established to deal with the violators that he called “fish pirates” and “vandals.”

This free guide gives you basic information about current license requirements, bag and size limits, and other fishing rules you need to know before heading to your favorite lake, river or stream.

Hoosiers embrace fishing. The fact we have more than 450 natural lakes and 21,000 miles of fishable streams is a major attraction.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation tells us that (other than catching fish) people say the best things about fishing include enjoying nature, getting away from life’s demands, spending time with family or friends, experiencing solitude, or sharing the moment with a child.

Cameron Clark

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director