|29 Tabor Road
Swanton, VT 05488
Teachers and Educators should check out the Educator's Guide for a complete list of resources, nature programs and activities available at the refuge.
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge is also the state receiving site for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest. Visit this site to learn more.
Field trips for school groups, adult seminars and educational programs, demonstrations, and special events are scheduled throughout the year. For a complete list of refuge activities and for a complete listing of videos and DVDs available to educators through the refuge lending library, click on the learn more link below. If you are interested in these offerings, please write or call the refuge for additional information.
Check out our Lending Library!
Sport fishing on the refuge follows all Vermont fishing regulations. This includes open seasons, limits and methods of fishing. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Annual Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws is available at the refuge headquarters.
A great variety of fish abound in the waters in and surrounding Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. Walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bullhead, white perch and yellow perch are the most sought after fish on the delta. Other species caught include: bluegill, carp, catfish, bowfin, white and red sucker, chain pickerel, muskellunge, sheephead, crappie, gar, pumpkinseed, smallmouth bass and rock bass.
Bank fishing is permitted along Charcoal Creek where it passes under Route 78 and along accessible portions of the shoreline of the Missisquoi River from Black/Maquam Creek Trail parking area to Mac's Bend boat launch. Bank fishing is accessible only by foot from Louie's Landing to Mac's Bend. Fishing access is available for disabled individuals at Louie's Landing. Fishing is also permitted from a boat on the Missisquoi River and in the refuge lakeshore delta of Lake Champlain in areas that are not posted as closed to public access.
Boats and canoes may be launched from Louie's Landing all season. A second boat ramp, on Mac's Bend Road, is open from September - November. Boating is permitted along the Missisquoi River and in Lake Champlain where it borders the refuge. Portions of the refuge are closed to boaters, however, to protect wildlife habitat. From April - November closed areas are marked to provide undisturbed nesting and resting areas for osprey, threatened black terns and other migratory birds. Please watch for and respect "Closed Area" signs.
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge has a strong commitment to America's youth and is proud to celebrate National Fishing Week by sponsoring an unforgettable day of fishing for kids and their families. The Annual Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Fishing Derby for Kids takes place each June. Youngsters, ages 15 years and younger are eligible for prizes. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Local fishing experts are on hand to assist refuge staff in giving valuable fishing tips to the kids. Kids learn about fishing techniques, fishing ethics, and the importance of wetlands to fish and other wildlife.
A refuge fishing brochure is available in refuge leaflet boxes and at refuge headquarters.
Portions of the refuge are open to waterfowl hunting and upland game and deer hunting in accordance with state and federal regulations. Permits and special regulations apply; please contact refuge headquarters for detailed information. The refuge is one of the most popular and well-known waterfowl hunting locations in the region.
Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Program
Each August, the refuge sponsors a Jr. Waterfowl Hunter Training Program. The program is offered to youngsters 12 to 15 years of age who have an adult waterfowl hunter to serve as a mentor. The Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Program is a joint educational effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the Vermont Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and volunteers to teach young hunters about waterfowl hunting. The program instructs beginning hunters in the knowledge and skills necessary to become responsible, respected individuals who strive to learn all they can about the species being hunted and to become knowledgeable in firearms safety, hunter ethics and wildlife conservation.
Refuge headquarters is open Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm. For questions, please call us at (802) 868-4781.
Interpretive leaflets are available in refuge leaflet boxes and at refuge headquarters. To view or download these brochures, check out our Refuge Brochures page.
Activities are offered throughout the year and include nature walks, boat tours, presentations, and special events. For a listing of refuge activities, click on the learn more button under Environmental Education. If you are interested in these offerings, please write or call the refuge for additional information.
Friends of Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. have a number of items on sale at headquarters, including t-shirts, hats, tote bags, and pins.
Refuge trails provide good opportunities for wildlife observation and photography as the trails pass through a variety of habitats. You may see red fox, white-tailed deer, an assortment of birds, beautiful native wildflowers and a wide variety of other wildlife species. Refuge trails are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Another great way to see the refuge is to climb into your canoe, kayak, or boat and paddle an 11 mile loop, down the Missisquoi River, past Shad Island, then southeast along the shores of Gander and Goose Bays. Continue up Dead Creek to the Missisquoi River and back downstream to your launching point. Before launching, check with refuge headquarters for current boating conditions. Wildlife abounds along the Missisquoi River, look for bald eagles, muskrats, osprey, black terns, waterfowl and white-tailed deer.
Paddling down the Missisquoi River is an adventure in itself, but an added treat awaits you where the river empties into Lake Champlain. Shad Island is home to the largest great blue heron rookery in Vermont. In shoreline trees, herons erect stick nests, often several per tree, and raise their young in a raucous congregation. The sight of these graceful, long-legged birds - most typically seen silently anchored to the water's edge - high up in the trees, squawking gutturally, regurgitating fish to their gangly young, will amply reward your paddling efforts. Please observe refuge signs. Some areas of the refuge are closed, including Shad Island to protect nesting birds and other wildlife. Please give basking turtles a wide berth so they may bask undisturbed.
Hints for Enjoying Your Visit
Some Important Rules
Collecting of any kind and disturbing or feeding wildlife is against the law. Feeding wildlife is dangerous and prohibited.
The nature trails are open to walking only. No biking is allowed on trails.
The refuge is open to managed hunts during certain times of the year. A refuge hunt permit is required. A safety zone is established around the trails.
Dogs must be kept and controlled on a leash no longer than 10 feet.
Don't litter. Litter is ugly and no one wants to look at it. But there's another reason not to litter: animals may eat the garbage left on the ground, whether it is edible or not. Since most human litter is from food and food wrappings, the garbage smells like something to eat. Animals try to do so, but can become ill and may even die.
No motorized vehicles allowed, including ATVs and snowmobiles.
No open fires (campfires) are permitted.