Sunset from Fishing Pier
  • Permits

    Fishing – You must have a Georgia state fishing license, available at Banks Lake Outdoors on site. 

    Many activities require a SPECIAL USE PERMIT, such as: 

    * Fishing Tournaments (fees may apply depending on size of tournament)
    * Filming/videotaping (any non-amateur work, including public television and other government entities)
    * Wildlife or general photography (for publications or retail)
    * Seining or any collection of plants, animals, soil, or water
    * Any after-hours use
    * Any activity in areas not open to the visiting public
    * All research

    The permit must be requested at least two weeks in advance of planned activity.

    The request must be in writing, on letterhead if possible, and addressed to:

    Project Leader, Okefenokee NWR
    2700 Suwannee Canal Road
    Folkston, GA 31537

    For questions, please call 912-496-7366. 

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country.  Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law.  Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife.  Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward.

    Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered SpeciesLaw Enforcement, and  Migratory Birds.

    Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for Special Use Permits.

    For more detailed information, go to How to Obtain a PermitFAQs/Facts or Application Forms.

  • Passes

    There is no entrance fee to Banks Lake NWR.  However, passes may be required to visit other National Wildlife Refuges. A $15 Duck Stamp will provide entrance into all refuges and help support conservation efforts.

    A series of passes covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges.

    Existing Golden Eagle Passports and National Parks Passes with an expiration date will be honored until they expire. Paper versions of the Golden Age or Golden Access Passports should be exchanged for the new Senior or Access passes. However, plastic Golden Age or Access passes are valid for the pass holder's lifetime and do not need to be exchanged.

    The Senior and Access passes are good for the lifetime of the holder and make available (to the pass holder only) 50 percent discounts on some expanded amenity fees.

    For the first time, decals and hangtags are available: decals for those who park open-topped vehicles (like Jeeps) or motorcycles at unstaffed federal recreation sites, and hangtags for those who anticipate parking closed vehicles at unmanned facilities.

    Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for more information about passes.