Danger - unexploded ordnance sign.

Permits are required for a limited number of activities at the refuge. The refuge uses Special Use Permits for biological research and work associated with the US Army Corps of Engineer’s Formerly Used Defense Site investigations. A refuge hunting permit is required to participate in a limited waterfowl hunt on the Cow Island Unit. These permit types are outlined below.

Special Use Permit- Research

We encourage research and studies that assist in answering management questions to enhance wildlife and their habitats on Plum Tree Island NWR. Research is usually conducted by universities, Federal, State, and local agencies, non-governmental agencies, and qualified members of the general public. Research is authorized via a Research Permit. To apply for a Research Permit complete the application below. Priority will be given to studies applicable to management on or nearby the refuge. Proposals must demonstrate that the study will not have an adverse effect on wildlife or habitat. Feel free to contact the Biology Staff to discuss whether your project helps fill an information gap and how it can be conducted to minimize impacts. Be advised that only a small numbers of permits are approved due to the safety concerns associated with refuge access.

Download the Special Use Permit Form (pdf)

Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Permit- Quota Hunt

Any hunting on the refuge requires a Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Permit. The refuge offers limited opportunity to participate in this hunt program, thus participation quotas are defined in advance of the season. Hunters must apply for the hunt through Virginia’s Quota Hunt Lottery system at