Rules and Regulations

Niobrara National Scenic River is your national park, preserved for your enjoyment and the enjoyment of future generations of river fans.

There a few regulations and rules of etiquette to help keep the river available and enjoyable for your next visit. Also see the Safety page for additional tips to help make your river experience a good one.

Personal Floatation Devices
PFDs or life jackets are required by Nebraska law for all boaters under age 13 and recommended for all other river users.

Alcoholic beverages may be neither possessed nor consumed in the Fort Niobrara National Wildllife Refuge. Alcohol may be possessed, but not consumed in the Mid Niobrara Natural Resource District boat landing and in Smith Falls State Park. Private campgrounds may have their own regulations. Remember that alcohol affects your coordination, balance and judgement, skills that are necessary to safely float the river.

Glass and Styrofoam
Please do not bring glass containers or styrofoam cups or coolers to the river. If lost or discarded, they become hazards to boaters and wildlife.

It's against the law and it looks ugly. Your outfitter can provide a free litter bag. Tie it to your vessel so it doesn't get lost; use it for you own litter and to help clean up after those who haven't learned how to care for their river.

Cliff Climbing
Cliff climbing is trespassing; the river is bordered by private property. Cliffs are also extremely dangerous to climb, due to loose, unstable rock and rattlesnakes hiding in crevices.

Fishing and Hunting
Fishing is permitted in the Niobrara river, subject to Nebraska regulations. Fishing and hunting in wildlife refuges are subject to the regulations of each area.

Please check with state and local agencies for other regulated activities.

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