U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Big Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

P.O. Box 67
Manila, AR   72442
E-mail: biglake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 870-564-2429
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Big Lake NWR, having long been recognized as an important link in the Mississippi migration corridor, was established as a reserve and breeding grounds for native birds by Pre
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Structured educational programs are available for schools, universities and others. Please write or call the refuge for additional information.

Sport fishing is permitted in all refuge waters from March 1 through October31. The lake closes November 1 through February 28 to provide a sanctuary for migrating waterfowl. During the closed season, lake access is confined to a small area and limited to boats with electric motors only. Fishing from the bank or from the accessible pier is permitted throughout the year.

The refuge is open to small game and archery deer hunting. Refuge permits and special regulations apply. Contact refuge headquarters for specific information.

Minimal interpretive exhibits are available in the headquarters office.

Wildlife Observation
The only refuge road open to the public is Bald Cypress Drive located on the west side and accessed near the headquarters building. Three boat ramps provide water access. Two hiking trails are present on the refuge. Bright Trail near headquarters and Oak Island Trail one mile north of headquarters off the wildlife drive. A levee road that accesses the moist soil area can also serve as a wildlife observation foot trail. The accessible fishing pier provides a picturesque view of the lake and opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Occasionally, portions of the refuge may be closed due to flooding. Persons planning a visit should contact headquarters for the latest conditions.

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a national educational program to inform visitors about reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities, particularly non-motorized recreation. Leave No Trace principles and practices are based on an abiding respect for the natural world and our fellow wildland visitors. We can act on behalf of the places and wildlife that inspire us by adopting the skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace.

1. Plan ahead and prepare.
2. Travel on durable surfaces.
3. Dispose of waste properly.
4. Leave what you find.
5. Respect wildlife.
6. Be considerate of other visitors.

For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)

The headquarters office is open from 7:00 AM through 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Bald Cypress Drive and outdoor facilities are open daily, dawn to dusk.

Entrance Fees
There are no fees for public use activities at Big Lake NWR.

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