areas of the refuge are closed to public entry unless otherwise
explicitly posted as an auto tour route, nature trail, or
parking lot. Some areas are closed seasonally and are posted as such.
The following rules apply except where otherwise posted:
Visitors to National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all applicable local, State, Federal regulations and signs.
San Luis NWR, Merced NWR, and San Joaquin River NWR are open daily from
one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Fees – There are no fees to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, or parking lots.
Permits – There are no permits required to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, or parking lots.
State / Federal permits are required for
activities that are traditionally highly regulated (such as hunting) or otherwise prohibited. Common examples include:
A refuge specific Special Use Permit
(SUP) is required to enter closed areas or conduct activities that are
otherwise prohibited (ex. wildlife trapping and tagging). For more
information contact the refuge manager for the area where the proposed
activity will occur at the San Luis NWR Complex Headquarters: (209)
Hunters must comply with
State of California license requirements and regulations. See State of
California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more
Speed – Speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
No Fishing - Fishing is not allowed at the Merced NWR.
Please visit the following links for more information about rules and regulations pertaining to:
Open Areas and Closed Areas
Permitted Activities and Prohibited Activities
Hunting and Fishing
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The Merced NWR hosts the largest wintering concentration of Lesser Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway with as many as 20,000 cranes using the Refuge.