Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


  • Burrowing Owl Promo

    Burrowing Owls

    Looking for all the world like a child's cute stuffed toy, burrowing owls are beloved residents of the shrub-steppe.

    Burrowing Owls

  • Badger Promo


    Tough, grizzled, occasionally grouchy, the badger is the curmudgeon next door—gruff but a good guy with an interesting life story to tell.


  • Mule Deer Promo

    Mule Deer Photo Gallery

    You'll see a lot of mule deer here. There's a good reason for that—Umatilla has one of the most impressive mule deer herds found anywhere.

    Mule Deer Photo Gallery

Refuge Happenings

Waterfowl & Upland Game Bird Hunting Lotteries

September 9, 2016 Hunting Lottery

The health and safety of our visitors and staff is important to us. The Refuge is evaluating procedural changes to the 2020/2021 waterfowl hunt season to provide a quality and safe hunting experience consistent with State and local COVID-19 guidance. The Refuge is no longer accepting applications for the Umatilla McCormack Unit hunting lottery. Additional information about any changes to the hunt program will be announced by email and website once finalized. If you entered the lottery, you can expect to see an email with your results by the end of September. There will not be a lottery for opening weekend of upland game birds this year. Permits will be available on a first-come first-served basis at the Hunter Check Station. Remember, upland hunting on the Umatilla McCormack Unit will commence at 12:00 noon on opening day of waterfowl season, October 17, 2020. Good luck and thank you for supporting your National Wildlife Refuge.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder . . .


. . . or if you have to try to live there. Many plants that people think are “pretty” are, ecologically speaking, disastrous to wildlife. Plants, such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus), false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) and even phragmites (Phragmites australis), are considered by many to be desirable landscaping plants. That would be fine, if they stayed in your backyard landscape. However, when they escape into the wild, they can out-compete native plants, forming monocultures where before a wide variety of plants provided for native wildlife. Often, these foreign escapees have no forage value for native wildlife, or they create habitats that have a different physical characteristic than wildlife can use (e.g., they may be tall, whereas native birds need low bushes for nesting). So, when you see a colorful field of plants on the refuge, beware that they may mask a terrible problem.

Did You Know?

Watching Wildlife

Watching Wildlife

Want to see more animals on your trip to Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
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