Hunting and fishing — along with any other activities — are prohibited on all national wildlife refuges as part of the government shutdown that began today, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official confirmed.

“All (national refuges) are closed,” said Pon Dixson of the USFWS’s Southeast Louisiana Refuge Complex. “It started this morning.”

Included in the shutdown are national wildlife refuges  — all of which normally allow bow hunting beginning Oct. 1.

The closures will last until the U.S. Congress moves past the current stalemate over the budget.

Dixson said all gates would be locked and signs would be posted at entry points where gates are not installed. Enforcement officers will be patrolling to ensure compliance, he said.

“If we see people, we will ask them to leave,” Dixson said. “We aren’t going to be in the business of writing tickets.”

Dixson said he was disappointed and that a compromise over the federal budget couldn’t come too soon. 

“I hope those clowns up there get their act together,” he said of congressional leaders.