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Public Access

Creating & Maintaining Public Access

Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife’s (DFW) 439 public access sites provide you with free access to hundreds of miles of rivers and thousands of acres of lakes. DFW has created and maintained public access sites since 1953 and continues to provide free access today. Funding comes from the sale of fishing licenses and excise taxes on motorboat fuel and fishing equipment through the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. DFW is committed to increasing and improving access for boaters and anglers. Some access sites have been in the program for more than 60 years. DFW evaluates site improvement needs across the state annually and rehabilitates sites that need work due to general wear and heavy usage. Everyone deserves the opportunity to fish. Many of our sites have been rehabilitated with ADA accessible upgrades that meet federal and state requirements. In 2020, DFW rehabilitated seven sites and built three new ones. The locations of the new sites are Knightstown (Henry County), which provides access to the Big Blue River; Brooksburg (Jefferson County), which provides access to the Ohio River; and Gas City Park (Grant County), which adds access to the Mississinewa River. While DFW maintains access at many sites, free public access remains unavailable or inadequate for many state waters. DFW continues to seek ways to expand free access by purchasing waterside property at fair market value from willing sellers, accepting suitable donations, and leasing property from individuals, nonprofit organizations, and/or local government agencies. For additional information on public access sites and other fishing sites across Indiana, see the Where to Fish map at Learn more about public access at