Erie National Wildlife Refuge consists of two separate land divisions. Sugar Lake Division lies 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of Guys Mills village. The Seneca Division is about 10 miles north of Sugar Lake Division or four miles southeast of Cambridge Springs, PA.
Updated Hunt & Fish Plan for Erie National Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a final hunting and fishing plan for Erie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Pennsylvania. 

A draft plan was issued earlier this spring, and during the 97-day public comment period, 5 comment letters were received from the public. We are grateful to the people who provided meaningful comments on the draft, which helped in developing the final plan.   

Some comments reflected an opposition to hunting and fishing in general and in particular on refuge lands. We understand and respect this viewpoint.  The legislation which guides how national wildlife refuges across the country are managed not only requires us to consider allowing wildlife observation, hunting, fishing, photography, environmental education, and interpretation, but further directs us to promote these activities when compatible with refuge purposes. Not one of these recreational uses have a priority over another – they are simply different ways people choose to enjoy the refuges and to engage themselves, their families, and their friends in the outdoors. 

A summary of all substantive comments, and our responses, can be found in Appendix E (Finding of No Significant Impact). No significant changes have been made between the draft and final versions of the Hunting and Fishing Plan. As part of next year’s proposed rule, Erie NWR will propose a non-lead requirement, which will take effect on September 1, 2026. The EA analyzes the impacts of lead ammunition and tackle; based on the breadth of comments received on the plan to require non-lead ammunition and tackle by 2026, the Service intends to complete additional analysis and provide another opportunity to comment during next year’s annual rulemaking.

We may begin to implement the Hunting and Fishing Plan for Erie NWR upon publication of the final 2022-2023 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations in the Federal Register. The final plan can be viewed here.

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National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Erie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1959. The first lands for the refuge were purchased with funds provided from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (also known as Duck stamps). Erie refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.

      Our Species

      Erie is the only refuge in the nation protecting endangered northern riffleshell and clubshell mussels. French Creek, the most biologically diverse stream in Pennsylvania, flows near the Refuge where over 80 species of native fish are found.

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus

      The northern riffleshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is brownish yellow to yellowish green with fine green rays. The shell interior is typically white. The...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love.