Indiana Freshwater Fishing
You may not connect “state forest” with fishing. But you should.
Greene-Sullivan State Forest in southwest Indiana, offers more than 120 lakes among its 8,900 acres. Spanning its namesake counties, Greene-Sullivan is earning a reputation as “the fishing forest.”
Whether you are ice fishing, pan fishing or seeking a bigger challenge, Greene-Sullivan offers tons of space to explore and test your skills. Formed from past strip mining, its lakes range from a half-acre to 220-acre Bass Lake. Most are more than 20 feet deep. Some are more than 75 feet deep.
Bass Lake is an obvious choice for big fish at Greene-Sullivan, but try 59-acre Duck Lake, too. Both are annually stocked with muskie, and some have grown to more than 40 inches. Spring rainbow trout are stocked every year at 25-acre Airline Pit, and channel cats are stocked every other year at 80-acre Wampler Lake and 42-acre Reservoir 26.
The next couple of years will bring even more opportunities to Greene-Sullivan. Three reclamation projects have created new lakes out of old highwall pits.
Yellowwood Lake, in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County, is another standout. Its 131 acres of clear water offer bluegill, redear sunfish and largemouth bass in a quiet, natural setting surrounded by wooded hills and the many other attractions and accommodations in the area.
Fishing opportunity also knocks at nearly every other State Forest, from the small ponds at Owen-Putnam to 294-acre Deam Lake in Clark County.
I invite you to wet your line at one of our State Forests.
Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana’s reservoirs have done a lot more than hold back floodwaters over their roughly 40-some-year history. They’ve consistently provided some of our best fishing.
But their age poses a challenge. Just as those of us who’ve been around for a while, waterbodies change over the years. For reservoirs, the shorelines have matured to resemble natural lakeshores. But underwater, the structure that’s helped make them great for fishing has rotted away.
Thanks to volunteers like you, we’re restoring that habitat. Previous work at Sullivan Lake, Cecil M. Harden Reservoir (better known as Raccoon Lake), and Monroe Lake are great examples. Volunteers from the Indiana Bass Federation (IBF), Bass Unlimited and other anglers joined forces. Local businesses donated pallets and cinderblocks. We’ll add more structure this year.
This partnership will continue to work toward expanding habitat enhancement and doing experimental largemouth bass stockings of 8- to 10-inch fish at Raccoon and Monroe through 2021. We’ll evaluate success as we go.
We want and need to do more. To help fund the bass stockings, IBF secured a FishAmerica Foundation grant. Money helps, but we could use more hands.
Watch for a habitat enhancement project coming to a reservoir near you. Together, just like at Sullivan, Raccoon and Monroe, we can maintain and improve our reservoir fisheries so they will continue to provide successful angling adventures for us, no matter their age. Nor ours. Future plans are at wildlife.IN.gov/7665.htm.
Thanks for the help. Best of luck on the water, whether you’re fishing or helping.
Director, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife
The Indiana DNR receives federal financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, and the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, nation origin, age, disability (or sex in education programs). If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility, or if you need more information, please write to: Chief, Public Civil Rights; Office of Civil Rights; U.S. Dept. of the Interior; 1849 C Street NW; Washington, DC 20240.
Fishing Reports and More
Fishing reports, public access sites and much more can be found at wildlife.IN.gov/3591.htm.