Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge

PO Box 67
Manila, AR 72442

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Twenty miles west of the Mississippi River, the 11,038-acre Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1915 primarily as a migration habitat for ducks and geese using the Mississippi Flyway. Big Lake contains many islands standing barely above water level. The 6,500-acre natural lake provides fishing for bluegills, catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. Birdwatching is popular with huge populations of wintering ducks and eagles, plus a large variety of spring and fall warblers. White-tailed deer and many smaller mammals inhabit the area, and in 1993 the first bald eagle eggs hatched in nests just south of the Wilderness. No trails exist. Regulated hunting and fishing are permitted. Big Lake is the state's smallest wilderness and the only one in eastern Arkansas.