Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Public Use Opportunities

Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. On the refuge, you can enjoy activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, and photography. Because the refuge provides a safe haven for migratory songbirds and waterfowl along the Mississippi Flyway, it is also a great place for birding. The refuge is not open to camping.

sunflowers
Sunflowers
fishing
Fishing pond 
observation tower
Observation area
The Refuge recently opened an Environmental Education and Recreation Area that is accessible to the public year-round during daylight hours. This area includes opportunities for universally-accessible fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking on 2.4 miles of trails. A sunflower field, native grasslands, managed impoundments, a bottomland hardwood reforestation site and the erection of bluebird and wood duck boxes enhance and diversify the wildlife viewing opportunities here.


Flooded impoundment
Flooded impoundment

Hunting
Hunters should obtain a free refuge hunting/fishing permit which outlines the special regulations that apply. Permits may be acquired online (scroll down to find Clarks River - Note that the brochure and map are separate documents), at the Refuge Headquarters, or by mail. Deer, turkey, waterfowl, rabbit, and squirrel seasons are among the most popular at the refuge. Most hunting seasons and regulations coincide with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources state hunting regulations.

During the Kentucky waterfowl-hunting season, the refuge has a drawing for a quota hunt on two areas with managed impoundments. To obtain a permit for one of these hunts, simply fill out a postcard with your name, address, and telephone number and mail to the Refuge Headquarters. Postcards will be accepted starting September 1 and must arrive by October 15 to be considered. For a complete list of rules and regulations, please see our hunting regulations.   

 


boy with fish
Successful angler with "catch of the day"!


Fishing

Fishermen are required to obtain a free refuge hunting/fishing permit. This permit outlines the special regulations that apply. Permits may be acquired online (scroll down to find Clarks River - Note that the brochure and map are separate documents), at the Refuge Headquarters, or by mail.

There is a five-acre, universally-accessible fishing pond located at the Environmental Education and Recreation Area on Highway 408 east of Benton.  The pond was stocked with fingerling bluegill sunfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass in October of 2006 and is now open to the public.

Opportunities for bank fishing exist at locations of the Clarks River that are accessible from various public roads. The southern reach of the Clarks River is shallow, especially during the dry summer season, and cluttered with downed timber, which makes boating access very difficult. 

A good way to begin your visit is to download one or more of our refuge publications (scroll down to find Clarks River) or contact the refuge office to request a copy.

 

Last Updated: 2/7/14