Facility Rules and Policies

Welcome to your wetland management districts. District lands are open every day for you to discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, pick wild edibles (for personal use), trap, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and canoe.

To report a wildlife violation, call 1-844-397-8477 or email FWS_TIPS@FWS.GOV.

Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons generally follow state seasons and regulations. Please consult the district manager at 320-693-2849 if you have questions.  

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

Please also visit the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge's rules and policies page for addition information about the 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
units that we manage. We currently have four that are adjacent to waterfowl production areas. 

For more information on Refuge Law Enforcement in general, you can visit the Refuge Law Enforcement page

General Restrictions (Prohibited)

On all waterfowl production areas, we prohibit:

  • Target shooting or any non-hunting discharge of firearms 
  • 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
  • All types of motorized watercraft (including gasoline and electric)
  • Camping, all fires (including cooking fires), and overnight parking including designated parking areas
  • Abandoning, discarding, or otherwise leaving any personal property. All property brought onto a waterfowl production area waterfowl production area
    Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands within the National Wildlife Refuge System that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds and other wildlife. Virtually all waterfowl production areas are in the Prairie…

    Learn more about waterfowl production area
    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, climbing sticks, ice fishing shelters, and trash.
  • Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource item, or government property
  • Introducing, liberating, or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on waterfowl production areas lands or waters
  • Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood, or other debris
  • Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring, or removing vegetation. This does not include the removal of edible vegetation or seeds (berries, mushrooms, nuts, etc) for personal use. 
  • Launching, landing, or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on a waterfowl production area is prohibited. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.
  • Commercial enterprise without a Special Use Permit
  • Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia 
  • Use or possession of alcohol by minors
  • Use or possession of fireworks or explosives
  • Flagging or marking devices 
  • Littering! All trash, including shotgun shell casings, must be packed out. 
  • Disturbing or interfering with any employee of the United States or of any local or State government engaged in official business, or with any private person engaged in the pursuit of an authorized activity on any 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
  • Any act of indecency or disorderly conduct. 
  • The destruction, injury, defacement, disturbance, or the unauthorized removal of any public property including natural objects or private property.
Hunting
  • Waterfowl production areas are open to hunting per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
  • Small game hunters using shotguns, including turkey hunters, are required to use and possess only non-toxic shot
  • During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter
  • Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange/pink 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 hunting stands must be set up and removed each day.
  • 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
  • Waterfowl production areas are open to trapping per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
Fishing
  • Waterfowl production areas are open to fishing per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
  • We prohibit all types of motorized vehicles on frozen water bodies
Artificial Lights
  • You may not use a spotlight, headlight, or other artificial light to spot, locate, or take any wild animal in a waterfowl production area waterfowl production area
    Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands within the National Wildlife Refuge System that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds and other wildlife. Virtually all waterfowl production areas are in the Prairie…

    Learn more about waterfowl production area
Additional Information
  • The above information is a partial list of rules and regulations. 
  • Special Use Permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses upon approval of the district manager. Contact the district office for application information at 320-693-2849.