Facility Rules and Policies

The refuge land are open from dawn to dusk and there are various public use regulations to know before you go. Some areas are closed for certain uses such as bicycles or vehicles, and these are posted through the refuge. Dogs must be leashed and we ask you please pick up after your pets. Leave no trace! Please pack it in and pack it out.

For a full list of Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge rules and regulations, please contact the refuge office.

Refuge Hours - The refuge is open during daylight hours only.
Closed Areas - Public entry is not allowed in areas posted “area closed”.

Archeological Resource Protection
  • It is illegal to search for or remove artifacts from public lands
  • Caching items, known as geocaching, or searching for caches is not allowed
  • The following restrictions are in place to protect archeological resources:
    • Black Oak Island is closed to unsupervised public entry
    • Visitors must remain on the gravel road on Kiep’s Island
    • Access from the refuge to Trempealeau Mountain is closed
Bicycles
  • Bicycling is allowed only on designated roads
  • Unlicensed motorized bicycles and scooters are not allowed
  • Bikes are not allowed on hiking trails
Vehicles
  • Vehicle operators must comply with posted traffic signs and state regulations
  • The speed limit is 25 mph on all roads
  • Only vehicles licensed for highway use are allowed
  • Vehicles must remain on designated roads or parking areas
  • Off road vehicles are not allowed, including snowmobiles, motorized bikes and all-terrain vehicles
Parking
  • Parking beyond vehicle control barriers or on the grass or other vegetation is not allowed
  • Vehicles may not block any road, fire lane, boat ramp, access gate or other facilities
  • Parking in a manner to create a safety hazard, or endanger any person, property, or environmental feature is prohibited
  • Any vehicle parked in violation may be impounded at owner’s expense
Camping
  • Camping is not allowed on the refuge
Fires
  • Fires are not allowed on the refuge
Littering
  • Littering is prohibited
  • All trash must be taken with you when you leave
Alcohol
  • Entering or remaining on the refuge when under the influence of alcohol is prohibited
  • Possession or use of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age is prohibited
Boats
  • Hand powered or electric motors only
Hunting
  • Designated portions of the refuge may be open to deer and waterfowl hunting
  • Drawings and special reservations are used to award opportunities
  • Special use permits are required. Contact the refuge office for information.
  • All pedestrians must wear blaze orange during the deer gun hunt
  • Firearms must be unloaded and dismantled or cased except as authorized by a valid special use permit
  • Archery equipment is authorized only with a valid special use permit
  • Discharging or possessing all other weapons is prohibited
  • Use of a spotlight is prohibited

There are two hunting zones on Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, the North Zone and the South Zone.

South Zone

On refuge land south of the main channel of Trempealeau River and south of State Highway 35/54, a refuge permit is required for all hunting activities. Additional special conditions apply for permitted hunting in the South Zone. Please refer to the information below for season dates, special conditions and application instructions for permitted hunting opportunities.

North Zone

On refuge land north of the main channel of Trempealeau River and north of State Highway 35/54, refuge land is open to public hunting and a refuge permit is not required for hunting activities.

In addition to Wisconsin state regulations, the following federal regulations apply for all hunting zones on the refuge:

  • Tree Stands: Only portable type stands are allowed and must be removed from the refuge each day. Personal property cannot be left on the refuge. Screw-in steps are prohibited.
  • Vegetation: The cutting, removing, or damaging of any tree or vegetation, for any reason, is prohibited
  • Alcohol: The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited
  • Baiting: The distribution of, or hunting over, bait is not permitted
  • Blinds: Only portable or temporary blinds may be used
  • Dogs: The use of dogs is allowed for bird hunting only, provided the dog is under the immediate control of the hunter at all times
  • Boats: Only electric motor and hand-powered boats are allowed on the refuge
  • Artificial Light: Shining a light to locate any animal is prohibited on the refuge
Trapping
  • Trapping is allowed by special use permit
  • Trapping units are auctioned in the fall. Contact refuge office for information.
Fishing
  • All refuge waters are considered inland waters
  • Wisconsin fishing regulations for inland waters apply
  • Turtle harvest is not allowed
  • Release of live bait is prohibited
  • Archery, spearing or netting fish is not allowed
  • Night-lighting fish is not allowed
Collecting
  • Mushrooms, raspberries and blackberries may be collected for personal consumption
  • Collecting any other plants, animals, antlers, artifacts or other natural objects is not allowed
  • Collecting of snakes, turtles, frogs or other reptiles and amphibians is illegal
Domestic Animals
  • The refuge is closed to unconfined domestic animals - cats, livestock, exotic pets
  • Horses are not allowed
  • Field trials, commercial or organized dog training is not allowed
  • Dogs are permitted on a leash shorter than six feet
  • Hunting dogs are allowed when working with a permitted hunter
Other Rules and Regulations
  • Entering within a 100 meter radius of an active bald eagle nest is prohibited from February 1 to July 1
  • Fire wood cutting is allowed by special use permit.
  • Personal belonging may not be left unattended on the refuge
  • Fireworks are prohibited on the refuge
  • Group activities require approval of the manager who may issue a special use permit with restrictions on group size, location and timing of use and specific activities