Special Use Permits

Permit Boat

Any commercial operation, tour, guide is prohibited within the Refuge unless a Special Use Permit is issued by the Refuge Management. This includes, but is not limited to: birding tours; photography tours; fishing guides; commercial fishing, and sight-seeing tours. 

Please note commercial buses are not allowed on Wildlife Drive. Contact Tarpon Bay Explorers (official refuge concessionaire) at 239-472-8900 to arrange tram service for large groups to tour the Refuge.

Contact Refuge Ranger Jeff Combs. Contact him at Jeffrey_combs@fws.gov or 239/ 472-1100 x222 to apply for a Special Use Permit. If approved, the cost is $150 per permit.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife laws and treaties. Permits enable the public and scientific communities to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would be otherwise prohibited by law.

Permits ensure that activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, gathering data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activities.

Contact the Refuge Office for more information about Special Use Permits – (239) 472-1100.