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As the Iowa waterfowl seasons began closing, Iowa’s waterfowl refuges will begin opening allowing hunters access to hunt non waterfowl species with a current open season, and trapping. The main purpose of the waterfowl refuge is to provide a safe resting and feeding area for waterfowl.
The north waterfowl zone closed on Dec. 6; the south zone on Dec. 10 and the Missouri River zone will close on Dec. 17.
Waterfowl refuges are at Lake Icaria, Adams County; Pool Slough Area, Allamakee County; Rathbun Area, Appanoose, Lucas and Wayne counties; Sedan Bottoms, Appanoose County; Sweet Marsh, Bremer County; Big Marsh, Butler County; Union Hills and Ventura Marsh, Cerro Gordo County; Round Lake, Clay County; Jemmerson Complex, Dickinson County; Forney Lake and Riverton Area, Fremont County; Dunbar Slough, Greene County; Bays Branch, Guthrie County; Crystal Hills, Eagle Flats and Eagle Lake, Hancock County; Green Island Area, Jackson County; Muskrat Slough, Jones County; Red Rock Area, Marion, Polk and Warren counties; Badger Lake, Monona County; Chichaqua Area, Polk County; McCausland and Princeton Area, Scott County; Otter Creek Marsh, Tama County; Rice Lake Area, Winnebago County; Snyder Bend Lake, Woodbury County; and Elk Creek Marsh, Worth County.
A portion of the Colyn Wildlife Management Area in Lucas County is considered a wildlife refuge and remains closed.
The wildlife refuge at the Hawkeye Wildlife Area in Johnson County will be open for public use including hunting and trapping on Tuesday, December 22, 2015. Goose seasons will still be open into early January but their use of the refuge is minimal this time of year. Geese typically use the open water in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City metro areas during the winter. Although Coralville Reservoir is still open, it will likely freeze over in the next few weeks.
Badger Lake, in Monona County, lies in two waterfowl zones – the north zone and Missouri River zone. The refuge portion of Badger Lake is in the Missouri River Zone and will open on Dec. 18.