The Patoka River in Southwest Indiana had long been recognized for its wetland and wildlife values on a local, statewide and regional basis. Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area was established in 1994 under the authority of the Emergency Wetlands Resource Act to protect one of the few remaining expanses of bottomland forested wetlands in the midwestern United States and one of two intact floodplain forest systems within Indiana.
Accepting Public Comments on Proposed Hunt Program Changes

The refuge is seeking public review and comment on a proposed change to the hunt and fishing programs that would require the use of non-lead ammunition and tackle by the 2026-2027 hunting and fishing season for all species. The refuge is also proposing to open 74.5 acres to additional hunting and fishing opportunities. The public is invited to review the draft documents for our proposed changes, including the draft hunt and fish plan, environmental assessment and the compatibility determinations. The draft documents are available through the Federal Register docket number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2022-0055.  

The comment period will stay open for 60-days from June 9 through August 8, 2022.  Please submit your comments directly through the Federal Register or via email to with 'Patoka River NWR' in the subject line. 

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Visitors come to Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area to watch and photograph wildlife, hunt, fish, hike, canoe, learn through interpretive programs and seek simple solitude from everyday life. 

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      We have habitat and wildlife management related goals that help determine the scope of management and restoration that occurs on the refuge.

      Habitat: Manage a diversity of habitats to benefit threatened and endangered species, waterfowl, other migratory birds and indigenous species in the Patoka River and associated watersheds.

      Wildlife: Perpetuate federally and state threatened and endangered species, waterfowl, other migratory birds and native fish and wildlife within the Patoka River and associated watersheds while restoring and preserving the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of the refuge

      Get Involved

      Become a refuge volunteer or join the nonprofit friends group to get involved and support your refuge. The refuge hosts a variety of volunteer work experiences throughout the year including trail work, native seed collection and habitat management just to name a few. Please stop by the refuge office located at 510 ½ West Morton Street, Oakland City, IN 47660 or contact us at 812-749-3199 or to learn more about getting involved.