About the Refuge

Entrance of Turnback Cave

Ozark Cavefish National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1991 and is managed by the staff at Mingo NWR.

The 40-acre refuge was acquired to protect a federally-threatened species, the Ozark cavefish. Turnback Creek Cave Spring is located on this property and is the outlet of an underground stream known to contain a population of the threatened Ozark cavefish. The Missouri Department of Conservation manages the 208-acre Paris Springs Access, which is adjacent to Ozark Cavefish National Wildlife Refuge. Another 1.3 acre parcel of the refuge is located along the Hearrell Spring in Neosho, Missouri.  This parcel also contains a population of the federally-threatened Ozark cavefish. It is adjacent to the Service’s Neosho National Fish Hatchery. Both areas are closed to public access but there is an underwater camera installed at Hearell Springs. Visitors to the Neosho National Fish Hatchery may have an opportunity to view a video image of this elusive species.

The refuge is managed by Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.  For more information call 573-222-3589 or visit the Mingo website.