Rules and Regulations

Rules & Regulations

There are lots of fun, interesting and educational things you can do on Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife-related and doesn't help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably rules governing this activity. Please check with the FWS before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of legal activities on the refuge for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!

General & Fishing Regulations

We want to you come and enjoy the refuge, but we do have some rules—rules designed to protect wildlife, the fragile habitats, cultural resources, and other visitor's experiences.

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, except during hunting seasons when it is open from 1-1/2 hours before legal hunting hours to 1-1/2 hours after. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only.

Fishing is allowed as per state of Oregon regulations from March 1 through September 30. Bank fishing is permitted in a designated area near Parking Area B from October 1 through the end of February. Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are permitted; gasoline or other internal combustion engines are prohibited. If these types of motors are permanently affixed or built into the boat, they must be temporarily rendered inoperable by removing gas tanks, batteries, etc.

Other prohibitions on the refuge include:

  • The use of unmanned aircraft or drones.
  • Dogs off-leash.
  • Off-road vehicles.
  • Overnight camping or parking.
  • Collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.

When in doubt, call us at (509) 546-8300, or email us at

Hunting Regulations

Sport hunting for ducks, geese, dove, coot, snipe and upland gamebirds is permitted on the refuge in accordance with all state and federal regulations. Elk is only open to emergency hunting administered by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Hunters should consult the Oregon State hunting regulations. Special refuge hunting regulations also apply (see below).

Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on the refuge must comply with all provisions of state law. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.

No trapping of any kind is allowed on Cold Springs NWR.

For the current regulations related to hunting on Cold Springs NWR, please refer to the PDF below.

Cold Springs Hunting Regulations

To see the regulations and hunting opportunities on all the refuges in the Mid-Columbia River NWR Complex, please visit:

Mid-Columbia River NWR Complex's Hunting Regulations