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Firearm hunting returns at Jameson Island Unit

Jameson Map

Completion of construction allows the Jameson Island Unit to again be open to the use of firearms, for hunting during state authorized hunting seasons.  Standard refuge regulations apply.      



Tim Haller;; 573-441-2799 Dean Bossert;; 573-441-2787 


Wildlife Refuge near Arrow Rock Reopened 

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge has reopened the Jameson Island Unit of the refuge to firearm hunting and public entry. Most of the unit was previously restricted to archery hunting only and a section was closed to all public entry as contractors with heavy equipment worked on a side channel construction. This refuge unit is adjacent to the historic community of Arrow Rock, Missouri. 

The unit is again open to all legal hunting methods in accordance with state and federal codes. Other permitted activities such as hiking, fishing and nature observation are also available. The refuge requests that hunting occur at least 100 yards from established trails and parking areas. The refuge encourages visitors to use caution if venturing near the side channel. Actively eroding banks along the channel can suddenly collapse. 

Over the past year the refuge unit underwent wildlife habitat improvement by reconnecting the Missouri River with its floodplain. The Jameson Island side channel project created shallow water habitat by constructing an additional side channel extension on the Missouri River. A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, excavated the side channel approximately one-mile long linking it to an existing side channel constructed in 2006 and 2007. The amount of flow diverted into this side channel from the Missouri River will be less than 10% during the navigation season. 

Shallow, slower water provides better habitat for many fishes, in particular the endangered pallid sturgeon. In addition this habitat provides opportunities other wildlife species to rest and forage for food. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 560 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. 

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge encompass more than 17,400 acres of public land in twelve separate units in the Missouri River floodplain between Kansas City and St. Louis. For further information about the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and visit us on the web at 

For more information on the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visit 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit 

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Last Updated: Dec 01, 2015
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