• Students discovering the refuge / Melissa Holder

    Wild Places

    National Wildlife Refuges are managed for wildlife and habitat and to ensure future generations will always have wild places to explore!

    Learn More

  • Highlighting Photo Gallery images / USFWS

    Get a Closer Look

    Get up close and personal with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend upon.

    View the gallery

  • Alligator snapping turtle / USFWS

    For Wildlife & You

    The refuge uses many different tools and actively manages these lands for the benefit of wildlife.

    Resource Management

  • Fishing Clinic / Angela Patton

    Get Outside

    Visitors have many choices to enjoy the refuge, including fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, wildlife watching and more!

    Visitor Activities

  • Harley Cemetery / USFWS

    Rich in History

    Along with the nearby century-old town, the refuge gets its name from a famous Chickasaw chief and great warrior, Chief Tishomingo.

    About the Refuge


History of Conservation

Brown Pelican / USFWS

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Pelican Island Bird Reservation, the first of 53 federal reserves he would create during his time in office and the roots of what is today known as the National Wildlife Refuge System. The 26th president was a dedicated naturalist throughout his life and is considered by many to have been the country’s “Conservationist President.” It was in the infancy of the Refuge System when President Roosevelt said, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”

For Wildlife

Waterbird Monitoring

Roseate spoonbills at Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge recently completed their waterbird monitoring protocol

more information
Featured Stories

Did You Know?

Blue catfish 150 x 115

Blue catfish will nest in hollow logs, holes under mud banks and underwater ledges. The females will lay up to 10,000 eggs, which are then guarded by the males, who keep intruders away -- including the female. Between six and 10 days later the eggs will hatch and the young fry are looked after by the male who stays around for a short while. Feeding in dense schools when they are young, the fry will grow up feeding on mussels, insects, fish, snails and crayfish and may one day weigh as much as 100 pounds.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS