• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Fish & Wildlife Policy

The Indiana DNR released the updated State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) in the fall of 2015.

State Wildlife Action Plan(Previously called the Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy)

Indiana's State Wildlife Action Plan was put together to evaluate Indiana’s natural habitats, to highlight areas of need and opportunities to protect Indiana’s endangered wildlife, and to keep more species from becoming threatened. To learn more about the development of the Indiana State Wildlife Action Plan, visit the IDNR's website.  Or to read the full plan, download it as a PDF

Catfish Regulation Changes

Thanks to ongoing research on native catfish populations, a number or organizations including the Indiana Catfish Conservation Association, an IWF affiliate member, have supported changes to Indiana's catfish rules and regulations. In September 2015, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission passed the following amendments to the state’s catfish harvesting regulations. These regulations went into effect in early 2016. 

  • The minimum size for harvesting any species of catfish in Indiana's waters has increased from 10 inches to 13 inches
  • Anglers can only keep one Channel Catfish over 28 inches long per day of fishing
  • Anglers can only keep one Flathead Catfish over 35 inches long per day of fishing
  • Anglers can only keep one Blue Catfish over 35 inches long per day of fishing

Research has shown that many factors associated with the catfish population decline have motivated anglers to push for regulation reform. The popularity of both sport and commercial fishing of catfish has increased recently, causing a drop in the wild populations. There are particular apprehensions about overharvesting of large individuals to support pay lake operations. Another reason for catfish decline is not permitting adolescent catfish to reach reproductive maturity before harvesting. Catfish do not normally reach reproductive maturity levels until they are between 13 and 15 inches long. A third instigator in the catfish population decline has been the spread of invasive Asian carp into the native habitats of catfish. The carp compete with the catfish for valuable habitat space and resources, slowly reducing the native species's population. 

To learn more about the declining catfish population, click here!