Expanding Hunting & Fishing at Refuges & Hatcheries

On April 9th the Administration announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing across more than 2.3 million acres at 97 wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries. This proposed rule would create approximately 900 distinct new hunting and fishing opportunities. A chance to hunt or fish an additional species at a particular refuge or hatchery is defined as an new opportunity.

The proposed rule also continues the Administration’s effort toward revising U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s hunting and fishing regulations so they more closely align with the state regulations where a refuge is located. When additional regulations are need for safety or conservation compatibility reasons then the Service will try to ensure that these regulations are consistent on all refuges in a particular state.

To see if your local refuge or hatchery will be impacted by this proposed change go to the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/09/2020-06258/2020-2021-station-specific-hunting-and-sport-fishing-regulations. Scroll down the document to Table 1 to see if and how your refuge or hatchery will be affected or view an online list and map.

You, as a member of the public, are encouraged to comment on this proposed rule. To submit your comments go to the Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/09/2020-06258/2020-2021-station-specific-hunting-and-sport-fishing-regulations and click on the “Submit A Formal Comment” green tab. The deadline for submitting your comments is Monday, June 8, 2020.

The Service’s press release about this rule is available at https://bit.ly/2Vno6rm.

Photo credit: Chuck Traxler/USFWS