Rules and Regulations


There are a lot of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the 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 refuge rules governing this activity. Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities at Havasu National Refuge for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!


  • All vessels must be registered in accordance with state law.
  • All state and U.S. Coast Guard Regulations are strictly enforced, in addition to refuge regulations (50 C.F.R. 27.32 and specific refuge regulations).
  • No overnight Mooring.
  • Approximately 17 miles of the Colorado river, within the Topock Gorge is restricted to NO Recreational towing/tubing/skiiing/wakeboarding.
  • Personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet Ski, Waverunner, Sea Doo, Airboats, etc are not permitted in the refuge backwaters on the Colorado River (as depicted by map/buoys) & these areas are further restricted to NO WAKE ZONES.
  • Follow all Regulatory Buoys.

Hunting and Fishing

  • We allow hunting of mourning and white-winged dove, duck, coot, common moorhen (gallinules), goose, common snipe, quail, cottontail rabbit, and desert bighorn sheep on designated areas of the refuge. All other species are prohibited.
  • Hunting in designated areas only
  • Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 C.F.R. 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 C.F.R. Part 32)
  • You may possess only non-toxic shot while hunting. 
  • Target practice and "plinking" are not permitted. 
  • Pits, permanent blinds or stands, trail or scouting cameras, and baiting are prohibited. 
  • See Visitor Activities section for further Refuge Specific Hunting Regulations. 
  • Fishing for striped and largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and others, is allowed on the refuge (all Arizona fishing regulations apply).   
  • Persons fishing from land, a boat or other floating object must obtain, possess, and carry a valid Arizona or California fishing license.


  • All vehicles (including gas or electric vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles) must stay on developed roads and in designated parking areas.   
  • Maximum speed limit is 25 MPH, unless otherwise posted.
  • All vehicles and operators must be licensed and insured for highway travel, for example:OHV's and ATV's must be "street legal" per the registrations of the state in which they are registered. 
  • The Havasu Wilderness Areas is open to foot traffic only. All mechanical transports, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorbikes, bicycles, horses, or other pack animals are prohibited in the wilderness area. 

Help Us Protect the Refuge

  • Camping is not allowed on the refuge, but visit nearby Bureau of Land Management areas or States parks for excellent camping opportunities.
  • Fires are not permitted on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Pets must be on a leash and under immediate control. Maximum leash length is six feet. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals.
  • Disturbance and collection of all plants, animals, minerals, and historic objects, is prohibited except by special use permit. 
  • Fireworks are strictly prohibited on the refuge.
  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law. 
  • Glass containers are prohibited on the refuge.
  • Use caution when walking on roads. Yield to approaching vehicles.
  • Help protect resources. All plants, animals, rocks, fossils, objects of antiquity, archaeological resources, and minerals on the refuge are protected. It is illegal to remove them.  

Topock Marsh Seasonal Closure
A portion of Topock Marsh is closed to all entry from October 1st through the end of the state waterfowl season (including the youth hunt). Closed area signs and/or buoys mark the boundaries.

Camping & Fires
Camping (land or water) and open wood fires are prohibited on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Several campgrounds, RV parks and hotels are located near the refuge in Needles, California, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Laughlin, Nevada. Enclosed charcoal or propane fires are permitted; however, all ash shall be carried out of the refuge and disposed of properly.

For further information, please visit the following websites:

Code of Federal Regulations for USFWS (50 CFR)- 

Havasu NWR Specific Section of CFR-

AZ Fishing Regulations-   

AZ Hunting Regulations-

AZ Boating Regulations- 

AZ OHV Regulations-

AZ State Trust Land-