In my quest to find and verify strange Indiana laws that are circulating on the web, I came across this curious statement – “it is illegal to catch fish with your bare hands.” Even better, it turns out this one is true and is still in effect!
According to IC 14-22-9-1, Unlawful Means of Taking Fish:
(a) Except as allowed by sections 3 and 11 [IC 14-22-9-3 and IC 14-22-9-11] of this chapter, a person may not take fish from waters containing state owned fish, waters of the state, or boundary waters of the state by the following:
(1) Means of:
(A) a weir;
(B) an electric current;
(C) dynamite or other explosive;
(D) a net;
(E) a seine;
(F) a trap; or
(G) any other substance that has a tendency to stupefy or poison fish.
(2) Means of the following:
(A) A firearm.
(B) A crossbow.
(C) The hands alone.
Honestly, I found the list of prohibited ways and means to be more intriguing than the lone method I originally started with. Don’t shoot fish with a crossbow? Yes, that is an actual Indiana law. And while we are on the topic, please no explosives, Wile E. Coyote.
So, how did I verify this unusual law? Print resources! Sometimes, print really is easier. By looking in the General Index of Burns Indiana Statutes Annotated I found the subject heading FISH AND WILDLIFE, which directed me to another subject heading, FISHING. Under FISHING, I found the entry, Hands alone, fishing method prohibited, §14-22-9-1. Incidentally, Title 14 contains the subjects of Recreation, Land Management, and Water Rights; Article 22 relates to Fish and Wildlife, and Chapter 9 is Regulation of Fishing. You can also search through the Indiana Code on the website of the Indiana General Assembly.
By Jen Kulka (Library Intern & Guest Blogger)