Facility Rules and Policies

Our lands are open every day for you to discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, pick wild edibles for personal use, trap, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe and canoe. Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons generally follow state seasons and regulations. Please consult the wetland management district wetland management district
A wetland management district is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office that manages waterfowl production areas in one or more counties. Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland…

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manager at 507-831-2220, if you have questions. We may post additional site-specific regulations.

To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations.

General Restrictions

 On all waterfowl production areas and refuge lands, we prohibit:

  • Target shooting
  • Training pets and allowing pets off leash
  • All types of motorized vehicles on all refuge land, including on frozen bodies of water, except on designated parking areas, access roads and public roads
  • All types of motorized watercraft, including gasoline and electric
  • Camping, open fires and overnight parking including designated parking areas
  • Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property. All property brought onto a waterfowl production area waterfowl production area
    Waterfowl production areas are small natural wetlands and grasslands within the National Wildlife Refuge System that provide breeding, resting and nesting habitat for millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds and other wildlife. Virtually all waterfowl production areas are in the Prairie…

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    must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like vehicles, boats, decoys, trail cameras, blinds, geo-caching items, photography equipment, portable stands, climbing sticks, ice fishing shelters and trash.
  • Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource item or government property
  • Introducing, liberating or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on waterfowl production areas lands or waters
  • Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood or other debris
  • Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring or removing vegetation
  • Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft, including drones, on a waterfowl production area is prohibited. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.
  • Commercial enterprise without a special use permit
  • Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited
Hunting
  • Waterfowl production areas and refuge lands are open to hunting per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
  • Small game hunters using shotguns, including turkey hunters, are required to use and possess only non-toxic shot
  • During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter
  • Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange or pink consistent with state regulations
  • We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds. We also prohibit the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter. Portable hunting stands must be set up and removed each day.
  • We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting
  • We prohibit distribution of feed or bait or hunting over bait. This includes salts and minerals.
Trapping
  • Waterfowl production areas and refuge lands are open to trapping per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
Fishing
  • Waterfowl production areas and refuge lands are open to fishing per state regulations unless specifically prohibited in the district specific section below
  • We prohibit all types of motorized vehicles on frozen water bodies
Artificial Lights
  • You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to spot, locate, or take any wild animal on a waterfowl production areas or refuge lands
District-specific regulations
  • Hunting is allowed throughout the district except on the Worthington Waterfowl Production Area in Nobles County and designated portions of the Wolf Lake Waterfowl Production Area in Cottonwood County.
  • Fishing is not allowed at Touch the Sky Prairie NWR in Rock County.
Additional Information
  • The above information is a partial list of rules and regulations. Consult the Windom Wetland Management District Public Use Brochure for more details.
  • Special use permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses upon approval of the district manager. Contact the district office for application information at 507-831-2220.
Permits
  • We don’t require permits for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, interpretation, environmental education and photography
  • A permit may be required if the proposed activity is for commercial use or financial gain
  • Haying, grazing, collecting wood, repairing tile or cleaning out waterways require a permit
  • If motorized vehicle access is required, such as a utility maintenance project, a permit is required
  • Please contact the district manager at 507-831-2220 or WindomWMD@fws.gov, if you have questions about what activities may require a permit or to obtain a permit