Calendar of upcoming Monroe Lake activities

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian by the DNR:

Monroe Lake

June 2022 E-Newsletter

  • Work for Monroe Lake!
  • Daily Activities at Monroe Lake
  • Free Fishing Weekend, June 4-5
  • Youth Fishing Derby, June 4
  • Flora Field Day, June 7
  • Volunteer Workday: Painting Trail Signs, June 7
  • Kayaking Programs
  • Upcoming Virtual Programs
  • Virtual Program Collection: View on demand!

Monroe Lake Website:
Monroe Lake Program & Event Calendar:
Monroe Lake on Facebook: 

Work for Monroe Lake!

Apply now to work at Monroe Lake! We are still looking for people to fill several seasonal park positions, including Office Assistant, Housekeeping, Gate Attendant, Beach Attendant, Marina Operator, Security, and Laborer. Join our team and help our visitors to make memories naturally. Submit your application online at Type Monroe in the keyword search.

Daily Activities at Monroe Lake

Summer programming kicks off at Monroe Lake on Memorial Day Weekend! We offer all kinds of scheduled programs, crafts, games, hikes, and more that are not mentioned in this e-newsletter. If you’re planning a visit to Monroe Lake, make sure you check our complete activity list at The schedule is currently up to date through June 30.

Beginning Friday, May 27, the Paynetown Activity Center will be open Wednesdays-Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Drop in to make the daily craft, check out free fishing equipment, see our live snakes, play in the kids’ corner, browse our reference books, enjoy board games and puzzles, or ask the naturalist a question!

Free Fishing Weekend, June 4-5

All Indiana residents, regardless of age, can go fishing in public waters June 4-5 without needing to purchase a fishing license. Do you have a friend or family member who is fishing curious? This is a great opportunity to introduce them. Need another fishing pole? Free fishing equipment rental is available at the Paynetown Activity Center between 1 and 5 p.m. both days – stop in for details!

Youth Fishing Derby (Paynetown SRA), June 4

Cast a line and catch a fish! Kids, ages 16 and under, are invited to participate in this free, just-for-fun, fishing derby at the Paynetown SRA fishing dock from 8 to 10 a.m. (please check in no later than 9:15 a.m.). Borrow our equipment or bring your own; bait will be provided. A prize drawing will be held at 10 a.m. for all participants! New and beginning anglers are welcome; volunteer instructors will be on hand to teach and assist as needed.

Flora Field Day (Cutright SRA), June 7

Want to work on your flora identification skills? Practice with a naturalist! Field day emphasis is on proper use and application of an ID key, which opens the door to identifying thousands of species. The naturalist will work with each attendee based on their prior experience. If you’ve never worked with flower ID before, this is a great way to learn. If you have prior experience, this is a fun way to practice your skills and maybe add some new blooms to your life list! Free, recommended for ages 12 and older, two hours. 

Tuesday, June 7, 9:30 a.m. at Cutright SRA: Register at by June 5.

Volunteer Workday: Painting Trail Signs (Fairfax SRA), June 7

Fairfax SRA has received 50 new wooden signs for new and existing trails and they need to be painted before we can begin installation. We welcome assistance for any period of time between 1 and 4 p.m.  June 7 – you don’t need to stay for the full three hours! Please wear old clothes that can get paint on them and bring a water bottle. Limited to volunteers ages 14 and up. Sign up by June 5 at

Kayaking Programs

Our kayaking schedule resumes in June with both workshops and guided trips. These outings tend to fill fast, so don’t wait long to sign up, and make sure you add yourself to the waiting list if a session is already full!

Beginner Kayaking Workshops: If you love seeing wildlife, or just enjoy exploring, kayaking is for you! Kayaks let you reach backwater areas and quiet bays that aren’t otherwise accessible. It’s a wonderful way to experience Monroe Lake. This workshop is specifically designed for beginners with zero (or very little) paddling experience. We’ll teach you basic paddling and safety skills and provide supervised paddling time in a quiet water area. Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets are all provided. Each two-hour workshop is limited to 8 people, ages 10+. Cost is $10 per person.

Explore Monroe Paddling Trips: Explore the quieter side of Monroe Lake during these guided paddling trips that journey through backwaters, wetlands, bays, and/or slow-moving streams. Trips highlight beautiful views, hidden wildlife, aquatic plants, and unique land features. Find your new favorite place to kayak! All participants must have at least two hours of prior paddling experience OR have completed one of our Beginner Kayaking workshops. Each trip is limited to 10 people, ages 16+, and lasts about two hours. Trip fee is $10 per person. Kayak rentals available for an additional $20.

  • Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. (Crooked Creek SRA): Register at June 6. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
  • Tuesday, June 14 at 9 a.m. (Crooked Creek SRA): Register at by June 8. *FULL, wait list available at registration link

Kayak Recovery Workshops: This workshop is for people who have basic kayaking skills but aren’t comfortable with how to handle a capsize. We’ll introduce and practice multiple strategies to get you back into a sit-on-top kayak as efficiently as possible, including instruction on in-water recovery (for when you can’t get the kayak back to dry land). You will get wet and spend time in the water during the workshop. Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets are all provided. Each 1.5 hour workshop is limited to 8 people, ages 14+. Cost is $10 per person.

Upcoming Virtual Programs

  • Thursday, May 26 at 11:30 a.m., Q&A with Emmett Holsapple, Monroe Lake Wildlife Biologist: We’ll talk about how he became interested in this field, what he’s learned in his first months at Monroe Lake, and where he sees our wildlife program heading in the future. Questions from those viewing the discussion live are welcome! Watch us live at
  • Thursday, June 30 at 11:30 a.m., Q&A with Dave Kittaka, DNR Fisheries Biologist: Topics will include how the Division of Fish and Wildlife monitors populations, fish stocking in the lake, and what has been done recently to improve fish habitat and fishing opportunities. Questions from those viewing the discussion live are welcome! Watch us live at

Virtual Program Collection: View on demand!

NEWLY ADDED! Q&A with Marion Mason, Public Affairs Specialist for the Hoosier National Forest

Animal Programs

Craft Tutorials

Facebook LIVE: Recordings of Livestreams

Geology Programs

Gone but Not Forgotten: Gravesite Series

History Programs

Interviews and Q&As

Outdoor Hikes and Walks

Plant Programs

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