Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

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    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. 

    A wide variety of hunting opportunities exists on many Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). Several duck and goose species, as well as large numbers of tundra swans utilize these lands during the fall migration. Upland game species found on many WPAs include ring-necked pheasants, gray partridge, mourning dove, and sharp-tailed grouse. The sprawling grasslands and dense shelterbelts found on many WPAs also provide secure cover for white-tailed deer, rabbits, and predators, such as fox and coyote. 

    North Dakota Game & Fish Department regulations must be followed in addition to special regulations on WPAs.  State regulations can be found on the ND Game & Fish Dept. website.  Please refer to WPA Regulations Brochure or contact District headquarters for further information regarding hunting Waterfowl Production Areas.

  • Fishing


    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge System offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities.  Fishing programs promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on all lands and waters in the Refuge System.  

    A wide variety of fishing opportunities exists on many WPAs. In recent years, the exceptionally high water levels on several WPAs have allowed yellow perch populations to flourish and reach "frying pan" size. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state regulations.  Please refer to the ND Game & Fish website for state regulations and the ND WPA brochure for any special regulations that may apply.



  • Wildlife Observation & Photography


    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to your nearest national wildlife refuge or waterfowl production area!  Wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors. 

    Wildlife Observation is available to visitors all year on Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). Because of the small size of many WPAs, wildlife observation or photography can usually be done from the unit boundaries. Respect grassland nesting birds and other wildlife, especially during the spring and summer months.

    Please consult the staff at District headquarters for seasonal wildlife observation opportunities and regulations.

  • Environmental Education & Interpretation


    Units within the National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  Many offices offer environmental education programs for a variety of audiences.  Refuges and WPAs provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities.  Thousands of youth and adult groups visit every year to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes. 

    A wide variety of environmental education activities/programs are available for students, organizations, and other members of the public. Anyone interested in these educational opportunities is encouraged to contact District personnel for more information.

  • Valley City National Fish Hatchery

    The Valley City Wetland Management District shares an office with the Valley City National Fish Hatchery.  The Valley City National Fish Hatchery (NFH) is one of two federal fish hatcheries in North Dakota. As part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission to protect wildlife habitat and provide wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities on Service lands, Valley City provides many benefits to the citizens of North Dakota.  There are many visitors that come to Valley City to learn about fish. Various school groups tour during the spring for the educational experience. Valley City State University holds many outdoor classes at the hatchery for biology students.

    Hiking, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, and photography continues to be a must of summer activities. The goose pond is a kids fishing pond and is an exclusive area attraction. The Girl Scout program continues to grow with the expansion of the on-site lodge and camp. The staff gives tours to various civic groups and has a traveling aquarium and video show that is taken to the larger fairs and shows within the state. 

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