Facility Rules and Policies

Safety for wildlife, habitat, and visitors is most important on the refuge. Never feed wildlife and remember to give them their space. Ensure you are using the proper gear when hunting and fishing. Respect speed limits on land and water when in motor-operated vehicles.  

General Rules and Policies
  • Dogs or other pets must be leashed at all times.  

  • Pits or permanent blinds are prohibited.  

  • Camping and open fires are prohibited.  

  • Public entry is from sunrise to sunset year-round by walk-in only on various tracts where parking is permitted.  

  • Disturbing or collecting any plant or animal is prohibited except under permitted hunting and fishing.  

  • Feeding of alligators and other wildlife is prohibited.  

  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Young animals should be left alone.  

  • Hunting requires a refuge permit obtained through a lottery or first come first serve application method. Please check refuge website for details.  

  • Fishing is permitted only with pole and line, rod and reel or hand held line. No bow fishing is allowed in refuge waters, including Champion Lake and adjacent Pickett’s Bayou.  

  • The use of trotlines, setlines, bows and arrows, gigs, spears, fish traps, crawfish/crab nets or any other traps or nets are prohibited.  

  • Removing of frogs or turtles is prohibited.  

  • Entry (by boat, kayak, canoe, or walking) is prohibited within 200 yards of an established bird rookery from March 1 through June 30 on any refuge tract.  

  • Boat motors are limited to 10 horsepower or less in Champion Lake and 40 hp or less in Pickett’s Bayou.  

  • Registered vehicles are allowed only on the refuge’s public roads. No all-terrain vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, dirt bikes, horses, etc. allowed on refuge roads.  

  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with Refuge regulations.  

  • Swimming, waterskiing, personal watercraft (Jet Skis), or airboat use is prohibited on waterways controlled by the refuge, including Champion Lake and Pickett’s Bayou.