Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
During the current public health emergency, whenever possible, outdoor recreation sites at national wildlife refuges will remain open to the public. For now, refuge visitor centers and other public facilities may be closed and most scheduled events have been postponed.

For local conditions review the information on this website and call ahead.

If visiting one of our location, please ensure public health and safety by following guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities. You can do this by maintaining social distancing, avoiding overcrowding and excercising good hygiene. For more information: FWS Coronavirus Response page.


  • Proposed Change to Hunting Program

    The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is proposing to update the refuge’s hunting program and is seeking public comment.

    Learn more...

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    Spring 2020 Calendar of Public Programs

    The April - May 2020 Calendar of Public Programs is now available. Click the link below to see this year's options.

    Spring 2020 Program Calendar

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    January to March Program Schedule

    There are lots of opportunities to explore the refuge as we enjoy winter. Please pay special attention to holiday closings.

    January to March Program Schedule

  • Artist-in-Residence

    Professional artists are invited to share their discipline while surrounded by nature. Email for an application.

    Artist-in-Residence Flyer


Refuge Hiring Youth Ages 15-18


The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Program introduces young adults, 15-18 years of age, to the important work being done by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and to meaningful experiences in America’s Great Outdoors. YCC members will assist refuge personnel with a diverse range of projects, including: •Wildlife Research •Trail Maintenance and Visitor Access Projects •Environmental Education and Recreation Programs •Grounds and Building Maintenance

More Information on YCC

Wildlife Drive Dates


Enjoy the refuge from the comfort of your car! The 7 mile route departs from the visitor center entrance road. Gates open at sunrise and close one hour prior to sunset. The Wildlife Drive is only open seasonally and on specified dates. Upcoming dates are March 21 and 22, April 18 and 19, and May 1-25. These are the dates that we plan to open the Wildlife Drive. Nature may and often does have other plans. The roads that we drive on are on top of dikes that are used to control all of the water levels in the refuge wetlands. Soft roads with heavy traffic will cost a lot of money in repairs. We also have a significant chance of flooding this spring. For the safety of our visitors as well as to protect the road conditions we will close the road if there is water across it. Please call ahead to learn the status of the wildlife drive before traveling a long distance. For more events on the refuge see the calendar in the link below.

Spring 2020 Program Calendar
Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Wetland Restoration

The Partners for Fish & Wildlife program works with private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands. We are leaders in voluntary, community-based stewardship for fish and wildlife conservation. The future of the nation’s fish and wildlife depends on private landowners – more than 90% of land in the Midwest is in private ownership. Providing more high quality habitat not only helps wildlife - by contributing to a healthy landscape, you create a conservation legacy to pass on to future generations. Partnerships are the key! To accomplish this work, we team up with private conservation organizations, state and federal agencies and tribes. Together, with the landowner, this collective shares funding, materials, equipment, labor and expertise to meet both the landowner’s restoration goals and our conservation mission.

Learn More

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS