Rules & Regulations

small calhoun logoCalhoun County Conservation Board


IV. County Rules & Regulations



            The provisions of these regulations apply to all lands and waters owned or managed by the Calhoun County Conservation Board.


            The Board may establish fees or deposits for the use of facilities, privileges and conveniences within all areas under the Boards’ management or jurisdiction.  All camping fees, shelter fees and other special use permits or deposits shall be paid in full, by the responsible party, prior to the use of the area. The CCCB may refuse or rescind any and all camping privileges.


            Chapter 461A.41 of the Code of Iowa is hereby modified under the authority of Chapter 350.10 as follows:

  1. A.       Nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, and asparagus: It shall be lawful to collect reasonable amounts nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, and asparagus for non-commercial, home use on lands under the jurisdiction of the Board, provided that the collector does not damage the parent plant. 
  2. B.       Native prairie grasses, forbs (flowers), and other plant life:  It shall be unlawful to collect or remove any variety of native prairie grass including seed, seed heads, forbs, Ginseng, or other plant life except as otherwise provided for in Section 4A, or by written permission from the Director.  This section does not apply to activities of the Board or its’ employees when managing land under the jurisdiction of the Board.
  3. C.       Natural Features:  It shall be unlawful to collect or remove bird nests, rock formations, or cultural artifacts found on land or water under the jurisdiction of the Board, except by written permission from the Director.


            Section 461A.42 of the Code of Iowa entitled “Use of Firearms” is hereby modified under authority of Section 350.10 of the Code of Iowa as follows: It shall be lawful to hunt or pursue game in or on any area designated as a hunting area by the Board.  The Board shall post all such areas with official signs to constructively notify the public that this activity is lawful.  It shall be unlawful to use or possess any firearm on any property owned or managed by the Board that is not designated as a hunting area, unless otherwise provided by law.


            All fireworks and explosives are strictly prohibited on all property owned or managed by the Board. Resolution 2018-10: All fireworks are banned in Calhoun County Parks, unless a fireworks display permit is granted. Penalties: 1st Offense: $250.00 2nd Offense: $500.00


            Section 461A.45 of the Code of Iowa entitled “Animals on Leash” is hereby modified under the authority of Section 350.10 of the Code of Iowa as follows:  It is lawful to permit dogs to run at large for the purpose of training or exercising them in or on any area designated as a hunting area by the Board, and parts of other areas so designated by the Board.  Animals must be accompanied by the trainer or owner.  Training or exercising is not permitted between March 15th and July 15th unless a special use permit is issued by the Director.


  1. A.       Restrictions – It is unlawful to hunt, pursue, or in any manner molest any birds or wild animals or to use or carry firearms, fireworks, explosives, and weapons of any kind, except as otherwise provided by law, in or on any area not designated as a hunting area by the Board.
  2. B.       Blinds & Tree Stands – A blind is a constructed place of ambush or concealment for the purpose of hunting, observing or photographing any species of wildlife.
    1. 1.         Any person may construct a blind in any designated hunting area using only the natural vegetation.  It shall be unlawful to cut or injure any living trees or shrubs during the construction of a blind.  Construction of such a blind shall not give that person any proprietary right to the blind.
    2. 2.         No person shall bring on to any area, to use for the construction of a blind thereon, any sawed lumber, wire, nail, bolt, post, pipe, metal cable, or hardware of any type, except when those materials are part of portable blinds or tree stands which are self-contained units readily moveable from one site to another.
    3. 3.         No person shall drive any nail, spike, pin, or other object, metal or otherwise, into any tree for the purpose of constructing a blind or tree stand, or to facilitate access to a blind or tree stand, or to a hunting location above the ground.
    4. 4.         Portable blinds placed in trees and used for purposes other than hunting waterfowl may be left on an area for a continuous period of time beginning seven days prior to the open season for hunting deer or turkey and ending seven days after the final day of that open season.
  1. C.       Decoys – A decoy is a bird or animal or likeness of one used to lure game within shooting range.  Except where otherwise provided in these rules, decoys are prohibited from one hour after sunset until midnight each day, and decoys cannot be left unattended for over 30 minutes between midnight and one hour after sunset.  Decoys shall be considered as removed from an area when they are picked up and placed in a boat, vehicle, or other container at an approved access site.
  2. D.       Target Shooting – Target shooting is the discharging of a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air rifle, bow and arrows, and sling shots at either a fixed or inanimate object.  It shall be unlawful to target shoot on any property owned or managed by the Board, except those areas designated by the Board as target shooting areas.  The Board shall post all target shooting areas with official signs to notify the public that this activity is lawful.
  3. E.       Use of Non-toxic Shot on Wildlife Areas -It shall be unlawful to hunt any migratory game bird or resident game or fur bearer, except deer and turkey, or target shoot with a shotgun while having in one’s possession any shot other than nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


            It shall be unlawful to trap or attempt to trap any wild animal in or on any area not designated as a hunting area by the Board, except that protection of areas and facilities shall be accomplished as needed by the Director or another authorized representative.


Section 461A.47 and 461A.49 of the Code of Iowa is hereby modified under the authority of Section 350.10 of the Code of Iowa as follows:

  1. A.       Violation of any state law or any county park rule or regulation by any member of a camping party is cause for revocation of camping privileges and the entire camping party may be required to leave the area.
  2. B.       Non-Reservable Sites: Campers must have the camping unit on the campsite before registering, and must register within ½ hour of setting up camp.
  3. C.       Reservable Sites: Campsites are reservable where posted. 
  4. D.       No camping unit or camping party shall occupy camping areas for more than fourteen days, except for camp hosts, extended stay areas, or individuals designated by the Director.  All members of the camping party must vacate the campground after the fourteenth night and may not return to the campground until a minimum of 3 nights has passed.  All camping equipment must be removed from the site at the end of each stay.
  5. E.       No camping unit shall have a camping fee unpaid by the camping party for more than twenty-four hours. Unattended or non-registered camping equipment still in place beyond the twenty-four-hour limit is subject to impoundment.  Camping equipment which may be impounded shall be removed and disposed of as provided by law.
  6. F.        It is unlawful for more than one camping party, or camping unit to occupy a campsite.  An additional tent may be used for children under eighteen years old.  Youth groups are exempt from this rule with special permission from the Director.
  7. G.       “Pack it home if you pack it in” is the best rule, or use containers provided in the campground
  8. H.       All motor vehicles must be parked in a designated parking area.  No more than two licensed vehicles are permitted at any campsite.
  9. I.          All campers shall maintain quiet and avoid excessive noise between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  10. J.         No refunds will be issued.
  11. K.       Camping units shall be set up and registered by 11:00 p.m.  Check-out time is 5:00 p.m.
  12. L.       No dishwashing will be allowed at drinking fountains, hydrants, or in restrooms.
  13. M.     No ropes, chains or lines can be affixed to trees.
  14. N.       Campers must restore their campsite to the same approximate condition as existed when they found it.
  15. O.       No pets shall be left unattended outside the camping unit. It shall be unlawful to have in possession any animal which causes a disturbance or displays aggressive or threatening behavior. Keep on a leash at all times and the leash is not to exceed 6 feet.
  16. P.        All non-registered visitors must leave the park by 11:00 p.m.
  17. Q.       Campfires are only permitted in grills or fire rings provided. No trash allowed in the fire rings and everything must be cleared before departure except ashes and wood.
  18. R.       If an improper camping unit is occupying a spot, the conservation staff will pull to free the spot and the item can be claimed by calling the office number.
  19. S.        The burning of any garbage is prohibited.  The collection of dead and downed firewood is prohibited unless special permission by Director.
  20. T.       Must be 18 years of age or older to register.  (Photo ID required) Parental consent required for minors camping without a parent or guardian. 
  21. U.       Washing of motor vehicles on all areas owned or managed by the Board is prohibited.
  22. V.       The Conservation Board will mow the campground on each Thursday. Please pick up cords and hoses, mats, and all of the camping units belongings if you would like your area mowed.
  23. W.     Camp Hosts shall have authority to refuse camping privileges and to rescind any and all camping privileges granted for a good reason.
  24. X.           The dumping of gray water in any Calhoun County Conservation area is prohibited. Campers will be given ONEwarning and if dumping does not cease, the second warning will be grounds for expulsion for the remainder of the camping season. 


            It is unlawful to operate or use any radio, stereo, television, musical instrument, electrical generator, power or chain saw, or any similar equipment in or on any area in such a manner as to create excessive noise and/or disturb other persons.  Use of an electrical generator is prohibited between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.


            It is unlawful to operate or use any public address system whether fixed, portable, vehicular mounted in or on any area except by special use permit.


            It is unlawful for any person to occupy any portion of any area for repairing vehicles, advertising, political campaigning, hawking, peddling or any other commercial activity or any other purpose not primarily recreational, except concessionaires acting under a special use permit with the Board.


            It is unlawful to ride, lead, or otherwise allow the entry of a horse or horse drawn conveyance on any road or trail or on any area except for those trails and roads which the Board shall designate by official signs or allow by special use permit.


            It shall be unlawful to operate any snowmobile, swamp buggy, all-terrain vehicle or any other land conveyance propelled by a gasoline or electrical engine and run on wheels, tracks, or runners in or on any area, except for those trails and roads which the Conservation Board shall designate, and for the purpose of ice fishing where the body of water is directly accessible from an approved boat ramp, and the machine is properly registered.


            No vehicle of any type, propelled by the machinery in whole or part, shall be permitted to travel other than on provided access roads and designated and posted areas or trails, unless a “Special Trail User Permit” has been issued by the Director.  Any person operating such a vehicle shall hold a valid operator’s or chauffeur’s license.  Hay rides or towed devices are prohibited unless authorized by the Director through a Special Permit.  Vehicles must be operated and equipped in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 321.


            Any person who drives a motor vehicle within the boundaries of any park or preserve under the jurisdiction of the Calhoun County Conservation Board in such a manner that creates or causes unnecessary engine noise or tire squeal or muffler noise or who shall skid or slide upon acceleration or stopping, or who simulates a temporary race, or who causes the vehicle to unnecessarily turn away abruptly or sway, or performs a   wheelie, shall be in violation.


            It is unlawful to swim, wade or engage in related water activities in or on any pond or waters in or on any area, except for designated pond or water clearly marked by official signs.  Wading for the purpose of hunting and fishing is allowed.  No swimming in swimming areas between sunset and sunrise.  It shall be unlawful to bring any pet without a leash or glass containers on to any swimming area or beach area.


            It shall be unlawful for a minor to reserve a park facility.  If a group consists of mixed adults and minors, a ratio of at least one adult to eight minors must be maintained unless the group is a “registered youth group”.  A registered youth group may maintain different ratios if the group is approved for the activity by the Director or his authorized representative. Most shelter houses are a “first come, first serve”.


            It is unlawful to bring any garbage, refuse or litter into any area for the purpose of disposal.  It is also unlawful to dispose of any litter, garbage or refuse from any household, business or other place in any litter container or upon the ground of any area.


      It shall be unlawful to leave unattended any boat or other form of water conveyance on or attached to any area, except those areas designated by the Board, during the quiet hour times (11pm-7am) of all Calhoun County Conservation areas. This includes all docks, trees, etc. Camping units may have a watercraft with them.  Any water conveyance left in violation hereof shall be removed and stored at the expense of the owner.  If not reclaimed within six months of its removal hereunder, all such water conveyances shall be considered abandoned and shall thereafter be disposed of.


            It shall be unlawful to leave any motor vehicle unattended on any area for more than twenty-four hours without the permission of the Director or his authorized representative.  Any motor vehicle left in violation hereof shall be removed and stored at the expense of the owner.  If not reclaimed within six months of its removal hereunder, all such motor vehicles shall be considered abandoned and shall thereafter be disposed of.


  1. A.       The Board may close or regulate the use of areas or parts of areas for the protection of humans, plants, animals, or natural or man-made features.  No person shall use, enter or occupy any restricted area or facility in violation or disregard of any official sign, gate or barricade.
  2. B.       Parking areas marked with the international symbol of accessibility shall be used only by persons or groups containing persons qualifying for and displaying a handicap identification device on their vehicle.
  3. C.       No person shall post, fasten or affix any notice or sign within any area without written permission to do so.  Freestanding temporary directional signs are permitted with a valid facility rental and must be removed.


  1. A.       Beer and hard liquor can be consumed but at a responsible rate.
  2. B.       No person or group can bring, use, or have in their possession on any area, beer or alcoholic beverage in a keg or any other container larger than one gallon.
  3. C.       It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or consume beer or an alcoholic beverage in a shelter that is used as a public warming house or a public event.


            All areas shall be closed to the public between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless otherwise specified by the Board, the Director or authorized representative.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to authorized camping in designated camping areas.


            War-like games that utilize any weapon-type projectile (paintballs, air soft, nerf, etc…) shall not be allowed on any land or water owned or managed by the Calhoun County Conservation Board, except areas Board shall designate by official signs or allow by special use permit.


A permit shall be required to hold a special event in county parks and open areas under the jurisdiction of the Calhoun County Conservation Board that meet the following criteria:

  1. A.       Any event or gathering not sponsored by the Board and numbering two-hundred and fifty (250) people or more (with the exception of family gatherings); or
  2. B.       Any event or gathering charging admission or charging for services regardless of the number of people; or
  3. C.       Any activity that is not a regular Board practice or not allowed by Board rules. 


Cabin Reservation can be made online at


            Model aircraft and drones are allowed on lands and waters managed by the Conservation Board and are subject to Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations. The following restrictions apply:

A.   Model aircraft and drones are not permitted in designated camping areas.

B.   In an unsafe or reckless manner or a manner that disrupts other park visitors.



            Metal Detecting is only allowed with the approval by the Director or his authorized representative.


            No person will be allowed to scavenge through any park waste or recycling containers to search for any items, including cans.


Nothing in these rules and regulations shall prohibit or hinder the Conservation Board, its’ Director or authorized personnel or any other peace officers from performing their official duties.

Section 32 Cabin Rental Contract

Rental Contract Agreement

By your agreement with these terms and conditions, you represent that you are 21 years or older and that you are authorized to make the reservation on behalf of the group you have listed. You further agree to assume full responsibility for the acts, negligence or omissions of the members of your group while utilizing said facilities.

Additionally, you agree that you have read and understand the CANCELLATION and REFUND POLICIES concerning this reservation, and have also read and understand the FACILITY CONTRACT information.

You are reserving a facility in a Calhoun County Conservation Board park. ALL COUNTY PARK RULES AND STATE LAWS ARE ENFORCED.

Failure to clean up the facility or surrounding area as outlined, or failure to comply with park rules or state laws may result in enforcement action. Calhoun County Conservation Board may take any legal action necessary to recover damages to county property.

CHECK-IN TIME: After 4:00 PM on the day of arrival
CHECK-OUT TIME: Before NOON on day of departure

Your cabin key will be placed in a locked key safe mounted to the wall of your cabin near the cabin door.  To gain access to your cabin keys, please follow these directions:  

1.  Push in your key safe code until you hear a click.  Buttons may be pushed in any order.
2.  Push down the OPEN latch and while holding it down, pull the face out from the key safe. If you have entered an incorrect code, you can reset the buttons by sliding down the CLEAR switch. 
3.  When you release the open latch, the combination will clear. 
4.  To replace the key safe face, push in your code buttons again. Place the face into the key safe by setting the bottom of the face in the correct location and then snapping it in place. The face will lock automatically.  

You are required to clean up the facility and grounds and return them to the condition you received them. Plan to have your facility cleaned and people departed prior to the scheduled NOON checkout time.

All visitors (other than registered overnight campers) must depart the park by 10:30 PM.

Calhoun County is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings.

Parking is confined to designated parking areas.

Temporary, free standing directional signs are allowed – not to be attached to park furniture, signposts or other facilities. Decorations are allowed as long as they are free standing or not affixed in a manner that would damage a facility or any painted walls (tape, tacks and staples can cause damage to walls. The use of a no-stick adhesive is recommended). Special care should be taken with balloons so that they do not “escape” and possibly injure wildlife.

Calhoun County Parks observe a “Carry In – Carry Out” refuse policy. However, a limited amount of refuse will be removed by park staff in conjunction with your reservation. All refuse must be placed in the containers provided. You will need to remove any refuse in excess of the capacity of these containers.

Pets are prohibited inside all cabins. You are required to pick up after your pets in the areas that your pet may visit.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel a reservation, you will forfeit 100% of all reservation fees paid. All cancellations must be made by calling the CCCB Office at (712) 297-7131.

Refund Policy

All reservations with Calhoun County Conservation Board facilities are final. Reservations are non-refundable, unless the following situations occur:
           ·The National Weather Service has issued severe weather and/or travel conditions.

·We are unable to provide your facility (or like facility) in operable condition for the date of your event.

·Accident, serious injury or death of an immediate family member.

All requests for refunds must be made by calling the Calhoun County Conservation Board Office at (712) 297-7131.