Rules and Regulations

Arnica Hill

Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public year-round. There are no entrance fees or refuge-specific regulations for activities such as hunting, fishing, berry picking, camping, hiking, wildlife viewing or photography. 

Visitors to Kanuti Refuge are asked to touch the land lightly and to make as little impact as possible. Leave the refuge as it was when you arrived. Do your part to preserve the wilderness so that future visitors may experience all that Kanuti has to offer.  

The following is a brief summary of regulations for common activities on the refuge. It is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations that apply to you. Please read this page and contact us if you have questions.  

State of Alaska Hunting and Fishing Regulations 

Most hunting, fishing, and trapping activities on the refuge are governed by regulations established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Visit  the ADFG regulations page to learn about specific regulations and to buy licenses and tags online.  

Federal Subsistence Hunting and Fishing Regulations 

We welcome subsistence users.  Subsistence hunting and fishing are vital activities for local residents.  Please be sure you know and follow the regulations for hunting. Federal subsistence regulations ONLY apply on federal public lands (generally U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, or National Park Service lands) and not on state, Alaska Native corporation, or privately-owned lands. You can find out more about federal subsistence regulations from the Federal Office of Subsistence Management. Here are a couple reminders:

  • When requested by a federal or state agent, any person who gives or receives wildlife shall furnish the agent with a signed statement describing full names/addresses, time and place the wildlife was taken and types of species transferred.
  • If you take an animal that has been marked or tagged for scientific studies, you must notify organization identified on collar or marker. 
  • Wildlife taken in defense of life or property are the property of the state and are not for subsistence use.
  • No person may possess, transport, give, receive or barter wildlife that was taken in violation of Federal or State law.
  • To subsistence fish, you must be a rural Alaska resident.
  • You are responsible for complying with all permit requirements and the regulations for methods and means, possession and transportation, and use.  If a State or Federal law enforcement agent asks, you must show any permits, harvest tickets, or other required documents. Law enforcement can also inspect any gear designed for taking fish or shellfish, or any fish in your possession.
  • You must get your permit before fishing.  Keep it with you while fishing or moving subsistence caught fish.  Read your fishing permit carefully.  It may list the species and number of fish you can take for subsistence uses.
  • The permit may require you to keep accurate daily catch records.  You must return this information to the issuing agency for management and conservation purposes.  If you fail to return the record, you may not be able to get a subsistence permit during the following regulatory year, unless you can demonstrate that your failure to report was due to unavoidable circumstances.

 Activities Requiring a Permit  

Special Use Permits are required for all commercial operations, scientific research, and collection activities on refuge lands and waters. Any person or group participating in an activity that requires a permit is responsible for obtaining and renewing their permit(s). Contact the Refuge Headquarters for information about applying for a special use permit.