Facility Rules and Policies

Our number one priority at Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge is the wildlife and their habitat. But we welcome the opportunity to share these resources with you. Therefore, we have a number of rules and regulations that help protect the resources as well as visitors. Please help by following all rules and regulations.

The refuge has limited access during breeding and hunting seasons to allow birds to nest and rest. Off-shore islands are closed to public use at all times in order to limit disturbance to migratory birds. Please be aware of special closures due to low water, fire danger, safety concerns, and other unforeseen events. Comply with all posted signs.

General Information: 
  • Wading and walking are the only means to access the Refuge when off road.
  • Cross country skis and ice skates are allowed during the winter season, ice conditions permitting.
  • Off road vehicle travel, to include vehicle travel on ice, is prohibited. Be considerate and do not block roads or gates.
  • All pets must be on a leash and under control at all times when outside of vehicles. Be considerate and clean up after your pet.
  • Horses are not permitted on the Refuge.

Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge is closed to all public use from sunset to sunrise. Vehicles may travel along Ninepipe Road across the dam but do not stop when the Refuge is closed. Leaving personal property, including ice fishing shelters and vehicles, is not permitted between sunset and sunrise. Neither fires nor fireworks are permitted on the Refuge.


The Refuge is closed to all hunting, to include members and non-members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Game may not be retrieved from the refuge. Plan your hunting to ensure that game does not fall into the refuge. If your game falls within the refuge boundary you must contact refuge law enforcement at 406/883-7301 before attempting to retrieve it.

Collection and disturbance of natural objects

Everything on Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge is either a home or food for wildlife. Therefore, the collection and disturbance of natural objects such as plants, animals, feathers, antlers, bones, and rocks is not permitted without a Special Use Permit. Archaeological and historic objects are our national heritage so collecting and removing any of these objects is also prohibited. 

Possession of a controlled substance

To provide for an enjoyable and safe visit to all visitors, the Refuge enforces laws in regards to the use of alcohol and controlled substances. Persons under the age of 21 years may not possess, consume or be given alcoholic beverages on the Refuge. Possession of a controlled substance is prohibited (50 CFR 27.82). Entering or remaining on the refuge when under of the influence, to a degree that may endanger oneself or other persons or property or cause a disturbance to visitors or the resource is prohibited.