River scene.
  • Permits

    Permits are assigned daily on designated waterfowl hunt days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays within regular season).  Deer hunt permits are by lottery and can be applied for by application through Michigan E-License ( or a DNR License Agent. See our hunting page for more details ( or contact the refuge at (989) 777-5930 or email

    General special use permits are needed for after-hours access, special access to closed areas or uses not expressly permitted. Please address these special use permit questions to Refuge Manager - Pamela Repp, email:; phone number: 989-777-5930 x107.

  • Passes

    A series of passes covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges.

    Existing Golden Eagle Passports and National Parks Passes with an expiration date will be honored until they expire. Paper versions of the Golden Age or Golden Access Passports should be exchanged for the new Senior or Access passes. However, plastic Golden Age or Access passes are valid for the pass holder's lifetime and do not need to be exchanged.


    The Senior and Access passes are good for the lifetime of the holder and make available (to the pass holder only) 50 percent discounts on some expanded amenity fees.


    Decals and hangtags are available: decals for those who park open-topped vehicles (like Jeeps) or motorcycles at unstaffed federal recreation sites, and hangtags for those who anticipate parking closed vehicles at unmanned facilities.


    What is the Senior Pass?  

    A $80.00 lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are 62 years or older (you must have turned 62 before you can buy the pass) that provides access to more than 2,000 Federal recreation sites managed by five different agencies.  Up to 100% of the proceeds are used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. At many sites the Senior Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).


    What is the Access Pass? 

    A free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents of any age that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability that severely limits one or more major life activities.

    permanent disability is a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

    If I am partially disabled do I qualify for the Access Pass?

    The disability requirements for the Access Pass are not based on percentage of disability. To qualify for the Pass the disability must be permanent and limit one or more major life activities.

    How do I prove I'm permanently disabled?

    Some examples of acceptable documentation include:

    • Statement by a licensed physician;
    • Document issued by Federal agency such as the Veteran's Administration, Social Security Disability Income, or Supplemental Security Income;
    • Document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.


    Please visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for more information about passes.