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Visitor Activities

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Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR provides wildlife dependent public uses such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and interpretation. However, the primary objective of a national wildlife refuge is to provide habitat for the conservation of all species of wildlife.

  • Hunting

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    Waterfowl hunting is permitted in designated areas in the late fall and early winter months. All hunters must possess a valid Florida State Hunting License and Florida State Duck Stamp. In addition, all hunters must possess a valid signed Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) and a Refuge specific hunting permit. Youth hunters (under the age of 16) are only required to possess a Refuge specific hunting permit. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in accordance with state and refuge regulations, which may vary from year to year. They are outlined in the annual Refuge hunting permit, which is available each year after November 1st.

    Click here for the Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Brochure

    Alligator hunting is permitted in designated hunt areas by permit only. Permits are obtained by lottery drawings through the Florida Wildlife Commission website. For more information please contact the Administrative Office at 561-732-3684. 
     

    Click here for the Alligator Hunting Regulations Brochure

  • Fishing

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    The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge consists of three designated fishing areas: Headquarters, Hillsboro, and 20-Mile Bend Areas. Within these areas, you'll find freshwater native species that include, but are not limited to: largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, redear sunfish, chain pickerel, longnose gar, bluegill, and warmouth. Additionally, you might also catch these Exotic species that are present around south Florida: Mayan cichlid, butterfly peacock bass, oscar, spotted tilapia, and sailfin catfish, etc.

    Sport fishing is permitted at a level that does not adversely affect wildlife or their environment. Fishing provides recreational opportunities and permits the use of a valuable renewable resource. All recreational anglers must possess a valid Florida fishing license in accordance with the laws of the state of Florida. For a complete listing of sport fishing and boating regulations on the refuge, please download our fishing and boating brochure.

    Click here for the Fishing and Boating Regulations Brochure

  • Wildlife Observation and Photography

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    The refuge maintains ten impounded compartments, located south of the refuge entrance road (Lee Road), which are managed for the benefit of wildlife. In these impoundments, water levels are manipulated to encourage different species of birds to feed and nest. All of the refuge impoundments are surrounded by levees that provide dry paths for visitors to observe and to photograph the birds and other wildlife in a natural setting. One of the impoundments contains a 0.8 mile long Marsh Trail which showcases interpretive signs and an observation tower making this walk especially interesting. Located behind the Visitor Center in the cypress swamp is a 0.4 mile long boardwalk. This boardwalk takes you deep into the 400 acre cypress swamp which is the largest remaining strand of cypress swamp that historically separated the Everglades from the pine forest. Along the boardwalk, interpretive signs are posted to provide visitors with insight into what plant and animal life may be seen in the cypress swamp. You can witness such natural wonders as "swamp tea", thigmotropism, air plants, duck weed, and water spangles, while also seeing common animals such as pileated woodpeckers, marsh rabbits, and cardinals.

  • Interpretation

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    There are a variety of interpretive programs offered to the public throughout the year. These programs range from guided hikes to audiovisual presentations and more.

    Note Please contact refuge staff at least one month in advance to make a reservation for guided tours of groups larger than five (5) individuals. Reservations allow staff to avoid conflicts between other groups and resource management activities, and to arrange logistics for those groups requesting services. 

    Special events are hosted throughout the year. To find out more information about the refuge's calendar of events, please contact the visitor center at (561) 734-8303.

    Everglades Day - 2nd Saturday in February
    International Migratory Bird Day - 2nd Saturday in May
    Kid's Fishing Day - National Fishing Week - 2nd Saturday in June
    National Wildlife Refuge Week - 2nd week of October

Page Photo Credits — Wood stork in cypress swamp - J. Kleen/USFWS, Roving rangers - Sinowitz
Last Updated: Feb 09, 2017
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