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Indiana Natural Resources Commission

NRC > Department of Natural Resources > Fish & Wildlife Fish & Wildlife


One of the best-known responsibilities of the Department of Natural Resources is the regulation of wild animals through the Division of Fish and Wildlife. With a few limited exceptions, the responsibility includes all wild animals.

A "wild animal" is one that lives in the wild or is not domesticated. Both native species and species brought into Indiana from other states or countries are subject to regulation. An "animal" is defined by statute to include "all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans, and mollusks."

In addition to performing regulatory functions, the Division of Fish and Wildlife:

  • manages properties in Indiana
  • provides public information hunting, fishing, or trapping
  • supports non-game species of animals such as river otters and eagles
  • protects and rehabilitates wildlife habitat

Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife

Responsibilities for the regulation of fish and wildlife are assigned by the Indiana General Assembly in statutes and implemented largely through rules. Most statutory authority is set forth in IC 14-22, what is sometimes called the "Fish and Wildlife Code." The Natural Resources Commission adopts permanent rules to help implement the Fish and Wildlife Code, and these rules have the force and effect of law.

Permanent Rules

312 IAC 9