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Visitor Activities

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  • Hunting

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    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

    As practiced on refuges, hunting, trapping and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management.  For example, because their natural predators are gone, deer populations will often grow too large for the refuge habitat to support.

    Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

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  • Fishing

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    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge System offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities.  Fishing programs promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on all lands and waters in the Refuge System.  Every year, about 7 million anglers visit national wildlife refuges, where knowledgeable staff and thousands of volunteers help them have a wonderful fishing experience.

    Quality fishing opportunities are available on more than 270 national wildlife refuges.  Visitors can experience virtually type of sport fishing on the continent.  From inconnu and grayling in remote Alaska, to snook hovering by mangroves in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, national wildlife refuges offer anglers adventure and diversity.

    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at a national wildlife refuge soon.  Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

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    Viewing waterfowl and other wildlife species is particularly good along the Hwy 94 Causeway which travels across Lake Mattamuskeet and along the refuge Entrance Road and Wildlife Drive which run from Highway 94 to the refuge headquarters and along the south side of the Entrance Road Impoundment. An observation viewing deck is available along the Highway 94 Causeway.

  • Interpretation

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    Refuge System interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world.  From self-guided walks to ranger-led programs, many national wildlife refuges help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitat behind the landscapes.

    In addition to staff and volunteers presenting programs to audiences, refuges use a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate natural history stories to visitors.  Printed and virtual information is often available on many topics, including plants and animals, seasonal migrations, habitats, refuge management strategies, and endangered species.

    Through Refuge System interpretation programs, you can learn why nearly all of the critically endangered Whooping Cranes spend the winter at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, about the beneficial role of wildfire to encourage native vegetation to grow at Necedah Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, and thousands of other interesting and informative stories.

  • Environmental Education

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    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  Many refuges offer environmental education programs for a variety of audiences.  Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities.  Thousands of youth and adult groups visit every year to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of a particular national wildlife refuge?  Contact or visit Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge to check on program availability and reservation policies.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Photography

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    During fall and winter, concentrations of swan, geese, and ducks are a delight to both wildlife observers and photographers. Viewing waterfowl and other wildlife species is particularly good along the Hwy 94 Causeway which travels across Lake Mattamuskeet and along the refuge Entrance Road and Wildlife Drive which run from Highway 94 to the refuge headquarters and along the south side of the Entrance Road Impoundment. An observation viewing deck is available along the Highway 94 Causeway.

Page Photo Credits — Ruddy Duck by Allie Stewart, Youth Hunt by USFWS, fishermen in fog - ©Quincy Banks, Tri Colored Heron by Allie Stewart, Dock by Tucker, New Holland Trail by USFWS, Charles Kuralt Overlook by USFWS
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2014
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