Impoundments & Nontidal Open Waters

Impoundment and boardwalk - Ron Holmes.

The refuge contains several small open water features and a managed impoundment. The 145-acre impoundment and nearby nontidal open water habitats of the refuge provide stopover habitat for a variety of waterbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds. Over the past several years, the Service has managed the water levels within the impoundment to benefit migratory waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds with successful results.

Portions of the impoundment also contain numerous nesting boxes. These boxes (primarily for swallow, but also for wood ducks) have been installed and maintained by a combination of refuge staff and volunteers. These boxes were initially installed to provide opportunities for wildlife observation and interpretation, including how visitors can benefit wildlife in their own backyard.

The impoundment and open waters also provide support for reptile and landbird breeding habitat. Bald eagles have nested successfully in forested areas adjacent to the impoundment. The impoundment area also provides secondary habitat for the State-listed southern leopard frog and breeding, feeding, and hibernation habitat for the State-listed eastern redbelly turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris).

The remaining 56 acres of nontidal open waters owned by the refuge include a series of deeper ponds near or adjacent to I-95. Hoy’s Pond is a 5-acre pond with maximum depths between 6 and 10 feet. The water is relatively clear with large mats of duckweed (Lemna spp.) covering much of the water surface around the edge of the pond. Hoy’s Pond is a popular fishing site, where anglers pursue largemouth bass (Miropertus salmoides) and sunfish (Lepomis spp.) species.