Rules and Regulations

A Gallinule peering from vegetation

National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) are places where wildlife comes first. Although people are welcome, activities are regulated and monitored to ensure that impacts are minimal to the plants and animals that call the refuge "home."  Below are some important rules and regulations for Bayou Teche NWR.

Enjoy exploring and recreating in your National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is open sunrise to sunset with seasonal restrictions in some areas.

• Vehicles are only permitted on public roads and designated parking areas. ATVs are allowed ONLY on public access roads.
• Recreational boating is allowed in open waterways – canals and bayous. Please be aware of your wake and courteous to canoes and kayaks.
• Boats with motors are not allowed on interior waterways designated for non-motorized boats only.
•The Franklin Unit Canals (Hansen, Wood Duck, Black Bear, and Alligator) are open to motorized boats between the dates of April 15 – August 31.

To ensure healthy wildlife habitat and sustainable natural resources for your continued enjoyment, and to ensure visitor safety, the following are rules and prohibited activities:

• Hunting is not allowed in the Franklin Unit.
• Non-toxic shot must be used in shotguns. Possession of lead shot while hunting is prohibited, except during the deer gun hunts.
• Only portable deer stands are allowed during hunting season, and may be erected one day before deer archery season begins and must be removed within one day after the season closes. Stands must be clearly labeled with owner’s name and phone number and must be placed in non-hunting position when not in use.
• Possession or distribution of bait while in the field, and hunting with the aid of bait, including any grain, salt, minerals, or any non-naturally occurring food attractant is not allowed.
• Cutting, removing, or damaging live trees is prohibited. 

Download a copy of the complete Bayou Teche NWR Public Use Regulations here.