Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 and became the first National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Tennessee. The refuge currently encompasses 1,850 acres and is located in Lake County, Tennessee.

Visit Us

Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge is small refuge, consisting of only 1,850 acres, but it offers great views for wildlife observation.  A viewing tower is located at the northern portion of the refuge, and information kiosks can be found at both the north and south end.  From March 16th-Nov 14th, refuge roads are open for visitors to explore.  This is only 13 miles from the Reelfoot NWR, and is definitely worth taking the time to visit while you are around Reelfoot Lake. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge was established " a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife ...” , and also “... for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds”.

      What We Do

      The Refuge and surrounding lake provide important wintering and migrating areas for waterfowl in the southeast. The refuge practices several different types of management techniques to deliver optimum habitat for wintering waterfowl. Reelfoot Lake has also long been known for its large wintering population of bald eagles providing excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The refuge is managed by, and just a short drive from, Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge. Both refuges offer interpretive, educational, and other wildlife recreation opportunities for the visiting public.

      Our Species

      The refuge's primary purpose is to provide optimum habitat for wintering waterfowl, but that doesn't mean that you cannot see other species of wildlife. The refuge is also home to variety of mammals, from the large white-tailed deer to the busy squirrel. Many reptiles and amphibians can be seen, including the eastern box turtle which is Tennessee's state reptile. White crappie are one of the fish that is highly sought after while fishing at Reelfoot Lake.

      Our Library

      Our virtual library is a collection of refuge documents and brochures all in one place.