Facility Rules and Policies

Welcome to your national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
! Discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, walk, kayak and canoe. Enjoy spending time outdoors alone or with friends and family. Please consult the refuge manager at 419-898-0014 if you have questions. We may post additional site-specific regulations below or at kiosks on site.

To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations.

General Restrictions

Access to the refuge is open from sunrise to sunset during designated months unless otherwise posted or stated in hunting regulations for controlled hunts

We prohibit:

  • Target shooting
  • Training pets and allowing pets off leash
  • All types of motorized vehicles on all refuge land (including on frozen bodies of water) except on designated parking areas, access roads and public roads
  • Watercraft use except in designated areas. See the fishing brochure for more information.
  • Camping, open fires and overnight parking
  • Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property. All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like vehicles, boats, decoys, trail cameras, blinds, geo-caching items, photography equipment, portable stands (except deer stands during controlled hunts - see Hunting brochure), ice fishing shelters and trash.
  • Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource or government property
  • Introducing, liberating or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on refuge lands or waters
  • Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood or other debris
  • Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring or removing vegetation
  • Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the refuge. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.
  • Commercial enterprise without a special use permit. Commercial still photography does not require a special use permit, provided it lacks sets, props and models and images are not used for promotional purposes. Refuge regulations must be followed while conducting commercial still photography and public spaces cannot be blocked.
  • Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited
  • Hunting is an approved use on the refuge. Controlled hunts occur for deer by permit only. No other areas are designated open to public hunting. See the hunting brochure for the areas, method of take and additional requirements.
  • Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange consistent with State regulations
  • We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds. We also prohibit the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter. Portable deer blinds and stands may be left in field in designated areas during the controlled deer hunt per refuge regulations.
  • We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting
  • We prohibit distribution of feed or bait or hunting over bait. This includes salts and minerals.

Trapping is an approved use on the refuge by special use permit only. Limited trapping opportunities may exist for management purposes. Contact the refuge office at 419-898-0014 for application information and bid process.

  • Fishing is an approved use on the refuge. See the fishing brochure for additional regulations and designated areas open to fishing.
  • We prohibit motorized watercraft
  • We prohibit the taking of any turtle, frog, leech, minnow, crayfish or mussel (clam) species by any method on the refuge
Refuge-specific regulations
  • Boats without motors are permitted on designated fishing areas. See the fishing brochure for more information.
  • We prohibit the use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles on refuge lands
Additional Information
  • The information above is a partial list of rules and regulations. Consult the Ottawa / Cedar Point hunting and fishing brochures for details.
  • Contact the refuge office for additional information at 419-898-0014