Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Coffeeville, Alabama

Webpage: National Wildlife Refuge

General Description: Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 overlaying land acquired by the Corps of Engineers during the construction of the Coffeeville Lock and Dam.  The 4,218 acre refuge encompasses approximately 1,802 acres of lakes, sloughs, and creeks, 2,265 acres of bottomland hardwoods, and 151 acres of croplands and moist soil units.  Construction of the dam raised the water level in the Tombigbee River from 19 feet above sea level to 32 feet, flooding over 2000 acres and creating excellent habitat for wintering waterfowl.  The primary purpose of the refuge is the provide wintering area for wood duck and other waterfowl.  While the primary purpose is to protect waterfowl habitat, there is a diversity of habitats for other wildlife species.

brochure

Impressions:

1) As you would expect, Choctaw NWR is primarily wetlands so primary access is by boat.  However, there is a single dirt road that enters the NWR from the north.  Hiking is permitted along the road and along with a few kiosks there is an observation tower accessible by foot.

kiosk

2) By warned, that the vast majority of the NWR is closed to the public from January to March to protect the wood duck during their nesting period.  At this time access is limited to the boat dock on the extreme north end of the reserve.

wetlands2