Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge


(731) 738-2296

Map Directions

Things To Do


Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) sits along the lower 17 miles of the Hatchie River in western Tennessee and was established in 1980 to benefit migratory birds with an emphasis on wintering waterfowl management. Unlike most Mississippi River tributaries that have been straightened and levees constructed for flood control, the Hatchie River remains the longest continuous stretch of naturally meandering river in the lower Mississippi River Valley. In result, wildlife and fisheries thrive in its almost pristine watershed ecosystems. The refuge helps protect and enhance the ever diminishing bottomland hardwood forests, along with other important habitats within the Hatchie River watershed. The refuge currently comprises 9,451 acres. The area is home to hundreds of wildlife species including bald eagles, Mississippi kites, wild turkey, neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, as well as numerous species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and insects.

Map of Lower Hatchie NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 35.597368, -89.868422



  • Boating

    Use of legally registered motorboats is permitted, but the use of outboard motors over 10 horsepower is prohibited.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Roads may be closed at any time due to adverse weather conditions or management needs. Vehicles must remain on established roads as indicated. Vehicles may be parked alongside open roads in a manner that will not interfere with the normal flow of traffic. Please avoid driving on refuge roads during wet conditions as damage to the roads will result.

  • Fishing

    Sport fishing is permitted from legal sunrise to legal sunset on Lower Hatchie NWR and Sunk Lake Natural Area. You may use a bow and arrow or a gig to take non-game fish on refuge waters. Visitors must comply with all applicable state fishing and boating regulations. Popular sports fish found in refuge waters are crappie, bass, and catfish.

  • Hiking

    Visitors will find hiking trails that provide access to wildlife viewing areas.

  • Historic Sites

    Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1980 and helps protect and enhance the ever diminishing bottomland hardwood forests, along with other important habitats within the Hatchie River watershed.

  • Hunting

    All small game and waterfowl hunting seasons and bag limits in accordance with statewide regulations (except closed during spring squirrel season). Rabbit, quail, dove, woodcock, snipe and squirrel hunting is closed during all young Sportsman deer, muzzleloader, and gun deer hunts. Raccoon and opossum hunting open with statewide seasons except closed on Friday and Saturday nights during young sportsman deer, muzzleloader, and gun hunts. All hunting blinds will be portable and nothing of a permanent nature will be constructed. The possession of saws, machetes, axes, or other tools for cutting vegetation is prohibited.

    Waterfowl hunting until 12:00 pm CST only. All blinds, boats, and decoys must be removed from the refuge by 1:00 PM CST daily. Non-toxic shot only. Coyotes and beavers may be taken incidentally during scheduled hunts on the refuge. Legal methods of take include legal hunting equipment utilized during specified hunting seasons. No bag limit.


Designated areas of the refuge will be closed to hunting, fishing, and all other public access during fall and winter months to provide resource protection. Contact refuge headquarters for specific location and closure dates.



Lower Hatchie NWR is located north of Memphis between Covington and Ripley west of Highway 51N on Highway 87W. The main office and maintenance shop are located approximately 18 miles down Highway 87W on the left just before the Mississippi River.

Sunk Lake PUNA is located off Highway 87W; take Sunk Lake Road to the right after passing Woodard's Grocery. The main entrance (look for the sign and gate) to the southern unit is approximately four miles down Sunk Lake Road on the right.

Phone Numbers


(731) 738-2296