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Mathews Brake
National Wildlife Refuge

1562 Providence Road
Cruger, MS   38924
E-mail: yazoo@fws.gov
Phone Number: 662-235-4989
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Mathews Brake National Wildlife Refuge

Mathews Brake National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 2,418 acres in west-central Mississippi. Established in 1980, the refuge is one of seven national wildlife refuges in the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The primary habitat feature is Mathews Brake, the largest brake in Leflore County. Each winter the brake provides habitat for over 30,000 ducks. Neotropical migratory birds use the refuge during migration seasons throughout the year. The refuge supports about 200 species of migratory birds, including priority species such as the prothonotary warbler. This little cavity nester is a species of concern in other areas, but has plenty of habitat around the wooded waters of Mathews Brake.

Refuge staff manage the water level in the brake to promote moist-soil plants and to sustain oak trees around the edges for migratory birds. Other habitat types include 422 acres of bottomland hardwoods and 186 acres of young hardwood plantations. Hunting and fishing are the most popular programs on the refuge. Download the hunt brochure from http://southeast.fws.gov/pubs/TR_complex_hunt.pdf.

Getting There . . .
Traveling from Greenwood, take Highway 49 south approximately 9 miles to Sidon, MS. Turn right (west) at Sidon and travel through Sidon. After crossing the railroad tracks, take the second street to the left. Follow this paved road approximately 5 miles. After crossing the first bridge, travel approximately 100 yards and take the first paved road to the left (south). Travel approximately a half mile and take the first gravel road to the right. This road will take you to the refuge Kiosk and boat ramp. There is no staffed office on Mathews.

For maps, please go to: http://mathewsbrake.fws.gov/directions.html

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Mathews Brake is a favorite among duck hunters. The 1,180-acre oxbow lake commonly supports over 30,000 ducks during the wintering season. Mallards, American wigeon, gadwall, blue-winged teal, and pintail are more common. In the spring and summer, wood ducks and hooded mergansers nest in tree cavities and artificial nest boxes on the refuge.

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Mathews Brake National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1980, encompasses 2,418 acres in west-central Mississippi.

Land acquisition began under the authority of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act with the refuge established "...for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds." The initial purchase, in September 1980, consisted of 803 acres. Additional major acquisitions of 960 and 651 acres in 1986 and 1989, respectively, brought the total to the current 2,418 acres.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The refuge conducts moist-soil management, greentree reservoir management, wood duck nest box management, fisheries resource management, and one of the largest public hunting and fishing programs in the Southeast Region.