National Wildlife Refuges are managed for wildlife and habitat and to ensure future generations will always have wild places to explore!
Get a Closer Look
Get up close and personal with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend upon.
View the gallery
For Wildlife & You
The refuge uses many different tools and actively manages these lands for the benefit of wildlife.
Visitors have many choices to enjoy the refuge, including fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, wildlife watching and more!
Rich in History
Along with the nearby century-old town, the refuge gets its name from a famous Chickasaw chief and great warrior, Chief Tishomingo.
About the Refuge
Refuges ClosedJuly 24, 2015
After a series of severe weather events and heavy rainfall earlier this year, the refuge experienced significant flooding and other storm damage. Many areas of the refuge remain closed but the pavilion and campground are now open. Before planning your visit, contact the refuge or stop by the Washita Farm Heritage Center for more information on open areas. Please abide by any posted notices on the refuge as they are there to ensure your comfort and safety. You can also find up to date information on the USFWS Southwest Facebook page. USFWS Southwest Facebook
About the NWRS
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
Blue catfish will nest in hollow logs, holes under mud banks and underwater ledges. The females will lay up to 10,000 eggs, which are then guarded by the males, who keep intruders away -- including the female. Between six and 10 days later the eggs will hatch and the young fry are looked after by the male who stays around for a short while. Feeding in dense schools when they are young, the fry will grow up feeding on mussels, insects, fish, snails and crayfish and may one day weigh as much as 100 pounds.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Pelican Island Bird Reservation, the first of 53 federal reserves he would create during his time in office and the roots of what is today known as the National Wildlife Refuge System. The 26th president was a dedicated naturalist throughout his life and is considered by many to have been the country’s “Conservationist President.” It was in the infancy of the Refuge System when President Roosevelt said, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”For Wildlife
Teaming with life, Cumberland Pool is alive with plants and animals invisible to the naked eye and critical to the survival of many species of wildlife. The pool makes up a quarter of the refuge and is especially important to fish, migratory birds and resident wildlife.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Ducks at pond / Brad Sorrell, Alligator snapping turtle / USFWS, Blue catfish / USWFS, Brown pelican / USFWS, Great blue heron / Ryan Patton
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2015