Laws and Regulations


  • All vessels must be registered in accordance with state law. 

  • All state and U.S. Coast Guard Regulations are strictly enforced, in addition to refuge regulations (50 C.F.R. 27.32 and specific refuge regulations). 

  • No overnight mooring. 

  • Approximately 17 miles of the Colorado river, within the Topock Gorge is restricted to NO Recreational towing/tubing/skiing/wakeboarding. 

  • Personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet Ski, Waverunner, Sea Doo, Airboats, etc are not permitted in the refuge backwaters on the Colorado River (as depicted by map/buoys) & these areas are further restricted to NO WAKE ZONES. 

  • Follow all Regulatory Buoys. 

  • Air-thrust boats are prohibited.  

  • Personal watercraft are not allowed on Topock Marsh or in the backwaters off the main Colorado River Channel. Wakes can cause nesting bird mortality or abandonment.  

Hunting and Fishing 

  • We allow hunting of mourning and white-winged dove, duck, coot, common moorhen (gallinules), goose, common snipe, quail, cottontail rabbit, and desert bighorn sheep on designated areas of the refuge. All other species are prohibited. 

  • Hunting in designated areas only 

  • Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 C.F.R. 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 C.F.R. Part 32) 

  • You may possess only non-toxic shot while hunting.  

  • Target practice and "plinking" are not permitted.  

  • Pits, permanent blinds or stands, trail or scouting cameras, and baiting are prohibited.  

  • See Visitor Activities section for further Refuge Specific Hunting Regulations.  

  • Fishing for striped and largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and others, is allowed on the refuge (all Arizona fishing regulations apply).    

  • Persons fishing from land, a boat or other floating object must obtain, possess, and carry a valid Arizona or California fishing license. 


  • All vehicles (including gas or electric vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles) must stay on developed roads and in designated parking areas.    

  • Maximum speed limit is 25 MPH, unless otherwise posted. 

  • All vehicles and operators must be licensed and insured for highway travel, for example: OHV's and ATV's must be "street legal" per the registrations of the state in which they are registered.  

  • The Havasu Wilderness Areas is open to foot traffic only. All mechanical transports, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorbikes, bicycles, horses, or other pack animals are prohibited in the wilderness area wilderness area
    Wilderness areas are places untamed by humans. The Wilderness Act of 1964 allows Congress to designate wilderness areas for protection to ensure that America's pristine wild lands will not disappear. Wilderness areas can be part of national wildlife refuges, national parks, national forests or public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    Learn more about wilderness area

Help Us Protect the Refuge 

  • Camping is not allowed on the refuge but visit nearby Bureau of Land Management areas or States parks for excellent camping opportunities. 

  • Fires are not permitted on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • Pets must be on a leash and under immediate control. Maximum leash length is six feet. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals. 

  • Disturbance and collection of all plants, animals, minerals, and historic objects, is prohibited except by special use permit.  

  • Fireworks are strictly prohibited on the refuge. 

  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law.  

  • Glass containers are prohibited on the refuge. 

  • Use caution when walking on roads. Yield to approaching vehicles. 

  • Help protect resources. All plants, animals, rocks, fossils, objects of antiquity, archaeological resources, and minerals on the refuge are protected. It is illegal to remove them.   

Topock Marsh Seasonal Closure 

  • A portion of Topock Marsh is closed to all entry from October 1st through the end of the state waterfowl season (including the youth hunt). Closed area signs and/or buoys mark the boundaries. 

Camping & Fires 

  • Camping (land or water) and open wood fires are prohibited on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Several campgrounds, RV parks and hotels are located near the refuge in Needles, California, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Laughlin, Nevada. Enclosed charcoal or propane fires are permitted; however, all ash shall be carried out of the refuge and disposed of properly. 

For further information, please visit the following websites: