Laws and Regulations
In the event of an Emergency dial 9-1-1
Non-emergency complaints of violation on refuge lands should be reported to Refuge Law Enforcement, (985) 882-2041.
To report general wildlife violations in the State of Louisiana: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Operation Game Thief Hotline: 800-442 2511.
Federal Nationwide Hotline for Prohibited Activities on National Wildlife Refuges (Refuges ONLY): 1-844-NWR-TIPS (697-8477) or email NWR_TIPs@fws.gov, 24 hours a day.
*Please be prepared to provide incident details including date, time, and location.
Visitors are welcome at the refuge during daylight hours only. The refuge is closed at night.
Hiking is allowed on refuge trails and levees. Please note: For safety reasons, all areas of the refuge located outside the Hurricane Protection Levee are closed to public entry until after 12 noon from November 1 – January 31, and during the state teal season, except for youth waterfowl hunting which is allowed until 12 noon.
Occasionally, areas within refuge boundaries may be closed to public entry due to construction, maintenance or restoration activities. Be aware of signs indicating closed areas. Pay special attention at gates and other points of entry to determine if the area is open. All areas of the refuge located outside the Hurricane Protection Levee are closed to public entry other than youth waterfowl hunting until 12 noon from November 1 – January 31, and during the state teal season.
Dogs are allowed on the refuge. They must be kept on a leash, except dogs engaged in authorized youth waterfowl hunting activities. The use of dogs is permitted only to locate, point, and retrieve while hunting.
Biking is allowed on the Maxent Levee located at the Ridge Trail site, as well as on dirt roads and levees.
Youth waterfowl hunting is permitted on designated areas of the Refuge in accordance with state regulations. Refer to the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure for more information. A signed copy of this publication serves as a permit to hunt on the refuge.
Sport fishing and shell fishing are permitted year-round in accordance with state regulations inside the Hurricane Protection Levee, and permitted only after 12 p.m. outside the levee during the state teal season and from November 1 – January 31. Refer to the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure for more information.
Wildlife, and even endangered species— can be negatively affected by drone flights. It is illegal to operate unmanned aircraft on Refuge property without a special permit. (*A drone flight may be permitted occasionally for research or resource management purposes). If a drone operator stands beyond Refuge boundaries and flies the vehicle over the Refuge, fines can be levied if the drone is observed disturbing wildlife. Please be a responsible drone operator and be respectful of wildlife and your refuges.
- Feeding alligators or wildlife is prohibited. Encouraging gators to approach humans as a source of food is dangerous for people and pets and unhealthy for the alligators
- Motorized vehicles on any levee
- Target shooting, ATVs, and horses are prohibited on the refuge
- Air-thrust boats, aircraft, mud boats, air-cooled propulsion engines may only be used to traverse the refuge through the Intracoastal Waterway, the Irish Bayou Straight Canal, the Jahncke Canal, and Bayou de Lesaire
- Any person or group acting as hunting guide, outfitter, or in any other capacity while collecting payment for services rendered, whether directly or indirectly, from another source
- The use of open fires or camping
- Cutting, removing, or damaging trees and other plant matter
- The use of toxic lead shot while hunting
- The use of flagging or trail markers, except bright eyes
- Hunting within 200 feet of any road, railroad, levee, water control , designated public use trail, parking are, or other designated public use facility
- All commercial fin and shell fishing
- The use of drones
- The use of trotlines, limb lines, slat traps, gar sets, nets or alligator lines.