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IDNR Report

Beginning May 1, all property-specific fishing regulations will be lifted on J.C. Murphey Lake at Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) in Newton County in anticipation of upcoming renovations on the lake in 2022.

Until further notice, starting May 1, bag and size limits will be the same as the statewide limits for other Indiana water bodies. These include:

  • Bluegill – no bag limit; no size limit
  • Redear sunfish – bag limit of 25; no size limit
  • Crappie – bag limit of 25; no size limit
  • Largemouth bass – bag limit of 5; minimum size of 14 inches 
  • Channel catfish – bag limit of 10, only 1 may be over 28 inches
  • Northern pike – bag limit of 3, minimum size of 24 inches, and only 1 may be over 30 inches
  • The lake requires periodic renovations to maintain habitat for the maximum number of species and recreational opportunities. The renovation will not only encourage habitat for rare and endangered species, but also
  • will improve opportunities for waterfowl hunters, anglers, trappers and wildlife viewers.

The drawdown at J.C. Murphey Lake is scheduled to begin in early spring of 2022. Recreational opportunities will be affected while the lake is dewatered and maintenance is performed. Lake renovations are expected to take until fall of 2023 to complete.

IDNR Report

May 3 is the first of Indiana’s four Free Fishing Days. On Free Fishing Days, Indiana residents can fish the state’s public waters without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamp.

Fishing is an excellent way to get outside and connect as a family. It is also a great opportunity to relax and connect with the outdoors while practicing social distancing. If fishing is a new activity for your family, keep things simple – this often makes fishing more fun and safe. The best thing to do is get out there and wet a line. May is an especially good time to fish because the water is warming and the fish are biting.

By Louie Stout

Getting from the new Hudson Lake public access located in the backwaters to the main lake can be tricky due to shallow water.

The lake is located west of New Carlisle. The public boat launch is off N. Emery Road and in the northwest corner of the backwaters. Area at the boat ramp was dredged at the time of construction last summer so water depth there is sufficient for launching boats.

The Indiana DNR plans to dredge a channel from the boat launch to the main lake but that won’t happen until after July of next year.

In the interim, the DNR has provided this map that offers a general idea of how to find your way to the main lake. The main lake isn’t shown here but is located below the bottom of the map.

Areas in green indicate heavy vegetation and even shallower water. The gray area along the west shoreline notes the best navigable water. The first of the two numbers next to the dots indicate water depth at the time the map was made, but depths could vary due to higher and lower water conditions. Nonetheless, boaters are advised to idle with outboards or even travel with electric motor through shallower areas.

The second number indicates sediment depth for the purpose of dredging later.

The DNR does plan to treat vegetation along the travel route sometime yet this spring or early summer.

Click Here to View Map