Rules and Regulations

Drake Blue-winged Teal

To report a wildlife violation call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (844-397-8477)

Welcome to your wetland management districts. Our lands are open every day for you to discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, trap, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and canoe.

Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons generally follow state seasons and regulations. Please consult the Wetland Management District Manager at 515-295-2523 if you have questions. We may post additional site-specific regulations.


To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations: 

General Restrictions

On all waterfowl production areas, we prohibit: 

• Target shooting.
• Training pets and allowing pets outside of a vehicle except dogs used for hunting during the small game and migratory bird hunting seasons (See Hunting section below).
• All types of motorized vehicles on all waterfowl production area land (to include on frozen bodies of water) except on designated parking areas, access roads and public roads.
• Motorized boats greater than 15 horsepower or 11.2 kW.
• Camping, open fires and overnight parking including designated parking areas.
• Abandoning, discarding, or otherwise leaving any personal property. All property brought onto a waterfowl production area must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like vehicles, boats, decoys, trail cameras, blinds, geo-caching items, photography equipment, ice fishing shelters, and portable stands except tree stands used for deer hunting (see Iowa Wetland Management District Specific regulations below).
• Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource item or government property.
• Introducing, liberating or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on waterfowl production areas lands or waters.
• Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood, leaves, grass clippings or other debris.
• Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring or removing vegetation. However, you may construct temporary hunting blinds using vegetation found on the WPA (See Iowa Wetland Management Specific regulations below).
• Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on a waterfowl production area is prohibited. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.
• Commercial enterprise without a Special Use Permit.
• Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited.

Hunting

• Waterfowl production areas are open to hunting per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below.
• Small game hunters using shotguns, including turkey hunters, are required to use and possess only non-toxic shot.
• During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter.
• Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange consistent with state regulations.
• We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds. We also prohibit the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter. Portable hunting stands must be set up and removed each day except tree stands used for deer hunting (see Iowa Wetland Management District Specific regulations below).
• We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting.
• We prohibit distribution of feed or bait, or hunting over bait. This includes salts and minerals.

Trapping

• Waterfowl production areas are open to trapping per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below.

Fishing

• Waterfowl production areas are open to fishing per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below.
• We prohibit all types of motorized vehicles on frozen water bodies.

Artificial Lights

• You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to spot, locate, or take any wild animal in a waterfowl production area.

Iowa Wetland Management District Specific 

• Portions of the following Waterfowl Production Areas are located within areas designated as “Waterfowl Refuges” under state regulations: Union Hills WPA in Cerro Gordo County, Jemmerson Slough WPA in Dickinson County, Rice Lake WPA in Winnebago County and Elk Creek WPA in Worth County. Please consult the current state hunting regulations for more information on these areas.
• You may leave tree stands in an area for a continuous period of time beginning 7 days prior to the open season for hunting deer and ending 7 days after the final day of that season. You must clearly mark the stand with your Iowa hunting license number.
• You may construct temporary hunting blinds from vegetation found on the waterfowl production area.
• We prohibit entry into any closed area to retrieve downed game unless the hunter or trapper has received written permission from the Wetland Management District Manager.
• We prohibit horseback riding.

Additional Information

• Special Use Permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses upon approval of the District Manager. Contact the district office for application information at 515-928-2523.