Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Mackay Isand Refuge Opened to Sport Fishing

August 19, 2014


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220


The 6,500-acre MacKay Island National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia and North Carolina is the most recent addition to the approximates  Federal refuges open to sport fishing, the Department of the Interior announced today.

MacKay Island Refuge is on the Knotts Island Peninsula, a strip of land separating Back Bay, Virginia and Currituck Sound, North Carolina. Largemouth bass, pickerel, and perch are the most common game species in the refuge vicinity, while carp, bowfin, and gars are also plentiful. Bass fishing is outstanding, with adjacent waters noted for big and hard-fighting bass. Before establishment of the refuge, the ponds, canals and ditches now within the refuge boundaries attracted fisherman from many miles away.

Both Back Bay in Virginia and Currituck Sound in North Carolina are famous for their great concentrations of waterfowl. The largest known wintering concentration of greater snow geese can be found on and near the refuge.

Opening of refuge areas to fishing is part of concerted effort by the Department of the Interior to provide additional outdoor recreation for the Nation. Sport fishing on National Wildlife Refuges is allowed when studies show that it is compatible with wildlife management.

Many wildlife refuges are closed to finishing during the migration and wintering period in order to prevent disturbance to migratory birds. In addition, no firearms are permitted and fishermen must comply with all State regulations.

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