Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge


(402) 468-4313

Map Directions

Things To Do


In the centuries before European settlement in this area, the Missouri River maintained multiple, braided channels. During times of flooding, the river would change course suddenly and unpredictably across its wide floodplain. Between 1820 and 1937, natural meandering of the river moved it 3 miles eastward from the Fort Calhoun bluffs (site of historic Fort Atkinson) to its present location. The area that is now Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was originally an island of sand and sediment deposited in the Missouri River by the Boyer River. Gradually, the Missouri River eroded channels (chutes) through the sediment. One of the major channels was Boyer Chute, named after the Boyer River, which in turn got its name from a settler who hunted and trapped in the watershed before the time of Lewis and Clark. The Refuge is a joint Federal and local conservation partnership designed to restore habitat along the 3-mile long chute. Riparian woodland, tallgrass prairie, and wetlands are the major habitats that are being restored and protected. These habitats benefit Missouri River fishes, migratory birds, endangered species, and resident wildlife.

Map of Boyer Chute NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 41.450447, -95.946007



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Refuge offers a 2.3 mile auto tour route that courses along the Boyer Chute. It will be paved during 2003. Rest room facilities are available at the Main, North, and South Chute Parking Lots.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed year-round in the Missouri River and Boyer Chute, except when the chute is ice covered. Two fishing piers along the paved road offer over water accessibility. An Iowa or Nebraska fishing license is required. State and federal regulations apply.

  • Hiking

    A 2.3-mile paved road follows along the Boyer Chute. Parking areas, restrooms, and fishing piers are all accessible. Discover the woodland, grassland, and wetland habitats by hiking on one of the refuge's nature trails. Trails originating from the Main parking lot are the North Island trail (grass), South Island trail (grass), Oriole trail (gravel), and Meadowlark trail (concrete and gravel). Shelters with tables are placed along the Oriole and Meadowlark trails. The Headwaters trail (gravel and grass) at the North Chute parking lot and Confluence trail (grass) at the South Chute parking lot offer visitors a view of the inlet and mouth of the chute.

  • Hunting

    The hunting area lies along the Missouri River perimeter of the island from the east bank of the chute at the headwaters to the east bank of the chute at the confluence, and landward to the island perimeter trail. Walking access, with weapons cased and unloaded, is allowed from the Headwaters, Main, and Confluence trails for those who don't have boat access.

    Check with the Refuge Headquarters for more details or posted regulations at the entrance and Main parking lot kiosks.

    Waterfowl hunting is allowed per state regulations. Special refuge regulations apply.

    There is also bow and muzzle loading firearms hunting for deer and bow hunting for wild turkey.

Park Partners

Friends of Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuges

Mission: To support the Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuges in the efforts to preserve, protect, and restore biological diversity and historic resources of the Refuges while providing the opportunity for wildlife oriented activities, education, and scientific research.

(712) 642-4121



Boyer Chute NWR is located on the west side of the Missouri River, 3 miles east of the town of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, and 15 miles north of Omaha. From Omaha or Blair, follow Highway 75 to the southernmost street (Madison Street) within the Fort Calhoun city limits. Watch for the Boyer Chute NWR sign. Turn east and proceed to the stop sign at the "T" intersection. Turn right onto County Road 34 and proceed approximately 3 miles to the Refuge main gate.

Phone Numbers


(402) 468-4313