Mackay Island is open from sunrise to sunset. All portions of the refuge are open to wildlife-dependent recreation from March 15 through October 15. Year-round public use is permitted in the following portions of the refuge: Corey's Ditch and the canal on the north side of the Marsh Causeway are open to fishing and crabbing. Mackay Island Road, from it's junction with SR 615 to the Dike Gate, and the Great Marsh Trail are open to walking, biking, motor vehicles (prohibited on the Great Marsh Trail), Bank fishing, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography. Sport fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, bream and other species is allowed in all canals, bays, and ponds from March 15 through October 15 each year. The refuge impoundments (East Pool, Middle Pool, and West Pool) are open to bank fishing only. All refuge waters, ponds, canals and bays are closed to boating from October 16 through March 14 each year. Public deer hunts (by permit only) are conducted during the fall months (September through December). Special "Open Roads Day" events are held throughout the year where visitors may drive the dike and trail system around the refuge impoundments to view wildlife. These are publicized in advance through local media.