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Rules and Regulations

National Wildlife Refuges are places where wildlife comes first. Although people are welcome, activities are regulated and monitored to ensure minimal impacts to plants and animals. Below is a list of rules and regulations for Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Refuge Hours
Visitors are welcome at the refuge during daylight hours only.  

The refuge headquarters in Lacombe, Louisiana, is open from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, and is closed on all Federal holidays.


Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law.  Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32).


Hiking is permitted on refuge trails. View the refuge general brochure.

Occasionally, areas within refuge boundaries may be closed to public entry due to construction, maintenance or restoration activities. Be aware of signs indicating closed areas.  Pay special attention at gates and other points of entry to determine if the area is open.  All areas of the refuge located outside the Hurricane Protection Levee are closed to public entry other than waterfowl hunting until 12:00 noon from November 1 – January 31, and during the state teal season.  


Dogs are allowed on the refuge. They must be kept on a leash, except dogs engaged in authorized youth waterfowl hunting activities. The use of dogs is permitted only to locate, point, and retrieve while hunting.


Biking is allowed on the Maxent Levee located at the Ridge Trail site. Bicycles are not allowed boardwalks.


Hunting of waterfowl is permitted on designated areas of the refuge. Refer to the hunting and fishing regulations.


In accordance with state regulations, sport fishing and shell fishing are permitted year-round inside the Hurricane Protection Levee, and only after 12 pm. outside the levee from November 1 – January 31 and during the state teal season.  Refer to the hunting and fishing regulations.

Prohibited Activities 
  • Feeding wildlife
  • Motorized vehicles on any levee
  • ATVs and Horses are prohibited on the refuge
  • Air-thrust boats, aircraft, mud boats, air-cooled propulsion engines may only be used to traverse the refuge through the Intracoastal Waterway, the Irish Bayou Straight Canal, the Jahncke Canal and Bayou de Lesaire
  • Any person or group acting as hunting guide, outfitter, or in any other capacity while collecting payment for services rendered, whether directly or indirectly, from another source
  • The use of open fires
  • Cutting, removing, or damaging trees and other plant matter
  • Target shooting
  • Camping
  • The use of flagging or trail markers, except bright eyes
  • Hunting within 200 feet of any road, railroad, levee, water control structure, designated public use trail, parking are, or other designated public use facility
  • All commercial fin and shell fishing
  • The use of trotlines, limb lines, slat traps, gar sets, nets or alligator lines
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2015
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