National Wildlife Refuge
|4343 Highway 157
Union City, TN 38261
Phone Number: 731-538-2481
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|A flock of Mallards explode from one of the refuge's numerous moist soil impoundments. Wintering waterfowl populations may exceed 500,000 on this important migratory stop.|
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to manage the northern third of Reelfoot Lake as a refuge for migratory birds. Additional lands acquired in Southwestern Kentucky expanded the refuge to its current 10,428 acres. The proximity of Reelfoot Lake and the refuge to the Mississippi river has always made the area a major stopover and wintering ground for migratory waterfowl and bald eagles.
Getting There . . .
Refuge Headquarters are located approximately 15 miles southwest of Union City Tennessee. From Union City take highway 22 north approximately 15 miles, turn right on highway 157, refuge headquarters is located exactly 1 mile on left.
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Lake levels are currently managed under the terms of an interim water management plan developed as part of an evironmental assessment in 1989, and must consider private, commercial and agricultural interests around the lake as well as wildlife resources. The entire lake supports significant recreational opportunities including sport fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, and photography.
Approximately 800 acres of refuge lands are managed under cooperative farming agreements, providing winter food for the refuge's resident wildlife species as well as wintering waterfowl.
Some 290 acres of moist soil units are managed to provide habitat for a variety of neotropical migrants, as well as migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl.
More than 6000 acres of forested habitats, including cypress swamps and bottomland hardwoods are managed through timber stand improvements, reforestation, and water level management to benefit wildlife.
Aerial surveys are conducted during the winter months to monitor waterfowl and eagle populations as well as nesting activities of Bald Eagles.
Artificial nesting structures are maintained on the refuge for both eastern bluebirds and wood ducks. These structures are monitored annually, and provide nesting and roost sites for a variety of wildlife species.
The refuge conducts pre-season wood duck banding operations on the refuge to monitor trends in wood duck populations.