Laws and Regulations

Refuge Regulations

The refuge grounds are open sunrise to sunset. except when participating in scheduled, refuge authorized activities.

From March 1-October 1 please stay on designated trails, overlooks, Feeder Road, Oak Orchard Creek and designated fishing areas. All other areas are closed to public access (except by Special Use Permit) to minimize disturbance to nesting and resting wildlife.

Vehicles must stay on established roads marked open for vehicular travel. Vehicles must be parked off the lane of travel and not blocking gates or other access points.

Canoes and other boats without motors may only be used on Oak Orchard Creek, from Knowlesville Road to Route 63. You may launch boats from Route 63, Sour Springs Road and Knowlesville Road.

Pets must be kept under your physical control and on a leash no longer than 10 feet. As a courtesy to other visitors, please clean up after your pet.

All state hunting and fishing laws are in effect in addition to refuge specific hunting regulations. Please refer to the following Fact Sheets: Upland-Small Game Hunting, Big Game Hunting, Sport Fishing for more specific information.

Refuge-specific permits are required for Waterfowl and Turkey Hunting. Please refer to  Waterfowl and Turkey hunting Fact Sheets. 

Refuge Special Use Permits are required for all trapping. Please refer to the Trapping Fact Sheet.

The refuge is  "carry in-carry out" area. Please take all trash with you and dispose of it properly. 

Prohibited activities

Camping, overnight parking, open fires

Use of ATV's and snowmobiles

Wading or use of float devices such as inner tubes or inflatable rafts

Collecting or releasing live bait

Collecting, removing or damaging  vegetation


Use of drones.

The Migratory Bird Conservation Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct investigations and publish documents related to North American birds, and establishes a Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) to approve areas recommended by the Secretary for acquisition. The MBCC...

An aerial view of pelican island.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act provides authority, guidelines and directives for the Service to improve the National Wildlife Refuge System; administers a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife and plant...

The National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act authorizes cooperative agreements with nonprofit partner organizations, academic institutions, or State and local governments to construct, operate, maintain, or improve refuge facilities and services, and to promote volunteer, outreach, and...