Rules and Regulations

officer with trotline

To protect the natural resources of the Refuge and to provide all visitors with a safe, enjoyable recreation experience, please follow these guidelines:

  •  Alcoholic Beverages - Entering or remaining on the Refuge when under the influence of alcohol is prohibited
  • Boating - Crab Orchard Lake has a 150 feet No Wake Zone along the shoreline. Devils Kitchen Lake and Little Grassy Lake have 10 horsepower limits
  • Camping - Camping is permitted only in designated campgrounds
  • Campfires - Campfires are allowed only in designated areas where controlled structures are provided
  • Collecting - Disturbing, injuring, or collecting plants, animals, or objects of antiquity without a special use permit is prohibited
  • Domestic Animals - Unconfined domestic animals are prohibited on the Refuge, except controlled hunting and retrieving dogs during the hunting season
  • Group Events - A Special Use Permit is required to hold a group event on the Refuge to which the public is invited, whether or not a use fee is charged
  • Firearms - Discharging firearms or any other weapons on the Refuge is prohibited, except for hunting in accordance with Federal and State Regulations and concealed weapons are not permitted within any federal office buildings
  • Fireworks - Possession or use of fireworks or explosives is not allowed on the Refuge
  • Private Structures - Private structures of any kind are not allowed on the Refuge without a Special Use Permit. Temporary blinds and stands may be used, but must be dismantled at the end of each day
  • Swimming - Swimming is prohibited at Devils Kitchen Lake, the closed portion of Crab Orchard Lake, marina areas, and within 100 feet of boat ramps, spillways, causeways, and dams. Public nudity is prohibited
  • Vegetation - Cutting, removing, or damaging any tree or other vegetation, standing or down, live or dead, is prohibited without a Special Use Permit
  • Vehicles - Motorized vehicles (including ATVs) are prohibited on Refuge lands except on designated public roads and routes of travel. Parking beyond vehicle control barriers, or on grass or other vegetation is prohibited
  • Recreation Fees - Entrance and/or User fees are required for all vehicles and boats using the Refuge. Passes are available at the Refuge Visitor Information Center and Campgrounds.
  • Hunting-ALL visitors are required to carry a signed copy of the Refuge Hunting and Public Use Regulations and General Hunt Permit. To download and print this permit Hunting Brochure.