National Fish & Wildlife Refuge
|4200 East New Haven Road
Columbia, MO 65201 - 8709
Phone Number: 573-876-1826
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|The Big Muddy Refuge is allowing the Missouri River to be a river again.|
Most environmental education occurs off the refuge at public events and presentations. The refuge manages the Federal Junior Duck Stamp program in Missouri, giving Missouri children an opportunity to admire and learn about waterfowl and wetlands. Big Muddy also coordinates with several volunteer groups including Friends of Big Muddy, Missouri River Relief and the Missouri Master Naturalists program to help educate the public and get more people involved in projects carried out on the Refuge such as fish and wildlife moinitoring, native bee studies, invasive species control and much more.
The Missouri River provides some of the most outstanding catfishing in the country. The Overton Bottoms North Unit provides the best access to the river with a boat ramp. Also at the Overton Bottoms Unit, scour holes left behind by major floods provide good fishing opportunities for warm-water species. A one-mile trail on the Jameson Island Unit leads to the Missouri River, also providing good fishing opportunities. Fishing access is a considerable hike through thick vegetation in other units of the refuge. Fishing from a boat on the Missouri River is always allowed, and numerous boat ramps are available courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The entire refuge is open to hunting. State seasons and regulations apply. All blinds and decoys must be removed daily. Tree stands are allowed overnight during deer seasons but must be labeled with owner's name, address and phone number and removed by Feb. 1 each year. Baiting, salt blocks, and minerals are not allowed. Non-toxic shot is required in shotguns. Due to its close proximity to city of Chesterfield and other urban developments, the Boone's Crossing Unit is open to archery hunting only. No firearms are allowed, this includes shotguns. All other refuge regulations apply.
The refuge is erecting interpretive signs at several of the units. All units have information kiosks installed. The Jameson Island Unit has three interpretive signs about the Lewis and Clark expedition's passage through the area along a trail out to the river.
The refuge has opportunities for wildlife observation and photography along refuge roads and trails. Several vantage points off the refuge provide panoramic vistas of the refuge units, such as the view from Les Bourgeois Winery's A-frame building in Rocheport, MO just across the river from the Overton Bottoms North Unit. This unit has a lookout point on the Loesing parcel where a monument has been erected honoring the cooperation of Ducks Unlimited, Inc., the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase a 500-acre portion of land on the Refuge. Arrow Rock State Historical Site in Arrow Rock, MO, provides several excellent observation points overlooking the Jameson Island Unit.
Refuge Headquarters - Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday. Refuge is open 24 hours for permitted activities.
There is no entrance fee.
|- Refuge Profile Page -|