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History of McKay Creek

McKay Creek Dam & Refuge History

Dam Illustration

Really like history? This is the page for you. Learn about the making of the McKay Creek NWR and Dam.

History of McKay Creek Refuge & Dam

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River Refuges

The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.

McKay Creek is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River Refuges.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Of Interest

  • Barn Owl Boot Camp

    Barn OwletsMay 10, 2014

    Every year, the FWS gets phone calls about orphaned or injured wildlife. In turn, we call Blue Mountain Wildlife. BMW is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that aids orphaned, sick, or injured wildlife, primarily birds of prey, providing the treatment and care necessary to return them to the wild. As you might guess, spring is a busy—and expensive—time for BMW. A fundraiser, Barn Owl Boot Camp, is being held at the Richland Community Center (Howard Amon Park, 500 Amon Drive, Richland) to help BMW prepare for Baby Season, as it’s known. It’s a wonderful experience for the whole family.

    Barn Owl Boot Camp
  • Fishing & Other Spring Things

    Jumping Fish

    Time to grab your fishing poles and get ready to hit the water! McKay Creek NWR reopens to the public on the morning of March 1st. The north end of the refuge has been closed all winter to provide sanctuary for wintering waterfowl. Waterfowl are returning north, and the refuge will reopen for all of your favorite activities. In addition to fishing, spring is a great time for watching wildlife. The first goslings will be born soon, followed closely by the first ducklings. Keep visiting throughout the spring for a chance to see tiny California quail darting to and fro behind their parents. Many types of swallows will be arriving, and the call of the meadow lark will begin ringing soon. As the weather grows warmer, and we see green appear everywhere, McKay Creek NWR becomes a wonderful place to experience spring!

  • Watching Wildlife


    Want to see more animals on your trip to McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

    Watching Wildlife
Page Photo Credits — Ducks in Flight - Chuck & Grace Bartlett, Barn Owlets - Kevin Keatley, Little Brown Myotis - Michael Durham & Bat Conservation International
Last Updated: Apr 08, 2014


  • 2014 Events Calendar

    Snowy Owl - EventsJanuary 01, 2014

    We've summarized our of events for you in PDF format. Things do change, so please look at the event details in the calendar.

    2014 Events Calendar (PDF)
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