The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge headquarters is located 8 miles east of Boonville, Missouri. Take Interstate 70 to exit 111, (Highway 179 and 98 exit). Follow directional signs to highway 98 away from the gas station at the exit. Just 600 feet from the exit you reach the junction of 179 and 98, turn left on 98. Travel 1/2 mile and turn right on Brady Lane. Continue straight ahead to the office when Brady Lane takes a sharp right.
Headquarters office open Monday-Friday, 7:30 am -4:30 pm, except holidays. Please call first to confirm someone is available to meet with you.
Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
18500 Brady Ln.
Boonville, MO 65233
Located in Missouri at fifteen separate units most along the final 367 miles of the Missouri River, the refuge currently manages approximately 18,000 acres for the benefit of wildlife. Nicknamed the Big Muddy, the Missouri Rivers muddy waters provide the lifeline for the refuges’ wildlife. The river’s historic ability to carve out wetlands, side channels and sloughs within its floodplain greatly benefited wildlife. Alterations to the river restricted its ability to create this habitat. The refuge provides an area for the river to recreate this habitat in some of its units. All the refuges units are open to the public and many have at least one parking facility and informational kiosk. Some units have trails, scour lakes for fishing and all are open to hunting and wildlife viewing. 1. Jackass Bend Unit2. Baltimore Bottom Unit3. Cranberry Bend Unit4. Cambridge Bend Unit5. Jameson Island Unit6. Lisbon Bottom Unit7. Overton Bottoms North Unit 8. Overton Bottoms South Unit 9. St. Auberts Island Unit 10. Berger Bend Unit11. Boone’s Crossing Unit12. Cora Island Unit
13. Schmitt Unit new 2016
14. West St. Clair Unit new 2016
15. Moresi Unit new 2016Visitors should visit the Jameson Island Unit adjacent to the historic community of Arrow Rock, Missouri. Here you can hike the Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery and learn about the history and habitat of the area from interpretive signs along the trail. The one mile hike ends along the banks of the Missouri River. To experience the floodplain forest, visitors can hike the 3.2 mile Little Muddy loop trail at the Overton Bottoms North Unit. For a unique fishing experience try the Diana scour lake. This 11 acre lake scoured out by the river during the flood of 1993 is located adjacent to the Little Muddy Trail, and just a short hike from the trail head. Anglers have the opportunity to catch numerous different species of fish including bass, crappie, catfish and carp.
When planning a trip to the refuge, it is important to wear appropriate footwear, sturdy shoes for land excursions and to dress for the weather. Consider bringing water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable. Many of the refuge units are subject to flooding resulting from precipitation miles upstream. Visitors should monitor predicted river levels before venturing out on the refuge by visiting this website. Navigate to the gauge closest to the unit you are visiting. Don't put yourself in a life threatening situation by quickly rising floodwaters.
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Habitats along the Missouri River are in constant fluctuation as seasonal floods and droughts bring about drastic changes.