Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge changing Waterfowl Hunt operations

Due to COVID 19 and other circumstances, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge is changing its Waterfowl Hunt operations for the 2020-2021 season.  There will not be a lottery draw. Instead, TRNWR will offer single-day, first-come, first-served permits by email for weekend hunt opportunities beginning Nov. 14, 2020 through Jan. 31. 

The cost per day will be $10 per adult hunter with a maximum of four hunters per hunt party. You must be 18 or older to apply. Checks or money orders will be the only acceptable forms of payment. Cash or credit cards will not be accepted. Permits will be presented to hunter when payment is received on the day of the hunt.  

First-come, first-served reservations will be accepted by email only on Tuesday morning between 8 and 10 a.m. on a weekly basis for that weekend. All emails and applications need to be sent to Bonnie Campisi at The waterfowl application form (OMB 3-2439) must be attached to the email along with a list of your hunt party.

Once your hunt party is submitted, there are no substitutions.  In the application hunters must choose up to five hunt holes on Line 6.  Hunters who receive a spot will be notified Wednesday morning by noon for their selected day hunt. One application per email. (Example:  If you want to hunt both days, a separate emailed application must be sent for each day.) Multiple applications in one email will not be accepted. Prior to entry, the permittee must pay for the permit in person before other members of the hunt party are granted entry. Reservations are nontransferable. 

All waterfowl hunt related information must be obtained from the Trinity River NWR website: For more information, contact Bonnie Campisi at or call 936-336-9786. 


  • COVID-19 Advisory: Face coverings may be required at check-in/check-out upon guidance from US Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  • All hunting shotguns must be unloaded and encased while in transit through the Refuge and Lake. 
  • Youth hunters must be under direct and visual supervision of an adult 18 or older. 
  • After unloading boat and equipment, all trailers and vehicles must park in Refuge parking lot at the top of the hill. 
  • Hunters must stay 400 yards or more from the shoreline (However, we may make exceptions during low water).   
  • Hunters must stay as a group in or around the same boat/blind and hunt within100 feet of the numbered hunt area. Minimum distance between hunt parties is 150 yards. 
  • Vehicles, boats and trailers must meet all State/Coast Guard regulations before entering the Refuge.  Non-compliant equipment will not be allowed to enter or hunt. 


  • Only shells containing approved non-toxic shot; temporary blinds (blinds, decoys, boats, and all other equipment must be removed daily); running motors are limited to 10 HP or less; retrievers (must be under control of the owner and caged or leashed at boat ramp). 
  • Only small limbs (no cypress limbs, less than one inch diameter) and grass type vegetation can be used for temporary blinds. 


  • Use, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol while hunting, accessing or returning from the field; driving nails, spikes, or other metal objects into trees; hunting from trees that require removing branches greater than one inch in diameter; clearing or cutting any live vegetation for a shooting lane; cutting any live cypress tree limbs. 


  • Access to waterfowl hunting on Champion Lake is by boat only. Hunt within the confines of the Lake as defined by the map on the permit. 
  • Hunters are encouraged to scout area before season starts to avoid problems. Champion Lake is open daily from sunrise to sunset. A compass or GPS unit should be with you. 
  • Alligators, snakes, mosquitoes, and fire ants live in the lake. Be aware of these potential hazards. Cell phones may not work. 
  • Hunters may enter the Refuge no earlier than 5 a.m. All hunters must check in and out at yellow gate on CR 417.   
  • Hunting starts at legal shooting time and you must be out by noon. Hunts are only on assigned Saturdays and Sundays during the Regular Waterfowl hunting season. 

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