What We Do

Refuges deploy a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools span active water management to wilderness character monitoring, all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach to benefit both wildlife and people.  

Management and Conservation

Management practices to enhance habitat quality for wildlife include lake drawdowns, vegetation control, water quality sampling, and water level management. Water level management is outlined by various plans and cooperative agreements with partners and is accomplished through the operation of numerous electronically-powered water control structures, screw gates, dams, and spillways. The refuge manages the water levels to provide optimum habitat for waterfowl and to produce native moist soil plants that provide high energy seeds and macroinvertebrates for waterfowl to eat. 

Inventory and monitoring play an important role in producing healthy and productive populations of fish, wildlife, and plants. The refuge staff conducts surveys on several species such as bald eagles, waterfowl, bats, fish, and mussels. Waterfowl trapping and banding allow biologists to collect survival and harvest information and help set hunting regulations.

Invasive plants and animals are not native to the area and compete with native plants and animals for resources. Removal of invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
helps to protect critical habitat and promote healthy resident wildlife populations. The refuge staff implement control measures to remove feral hogs and other problematic species.

Laws and Regulations

A refuge permit is required for all hunting activities. The permit is free and is located on the front cover of the Public Use Regulations Brochure. They can be downloaded onlineor picked up at the refuge visitor center.

A special use permit is needed for certain activities such as commercial filming (audio, video, and photographic products of a monetary value); agriculture (haying, grazing, crop planting, logging, and other agricultural products); or research and monitoring activities by students, universities, or other non-FWS organizations. Contact the refuge for more information.