Description - Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Bill Williams River in La Paz and Mojave Counties, Arizona, with the river as the dividing line between the two counties. The refuge was established in 1941 as part of Havasu NWR as mitigation for the Boulder (Hoover) and Parker Dam projects. In 1993, the two refuges were separated and the Bill Williams Unit became the Bill Williams River NWR.
There are few places in the world where one can stand, look at a Saguaro cactus, a cattail stand, and a cottonwood tree together. This unique blend of upland desert, marsh, and desert riparian habitats provides for a diverse array of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The cottonwood/willow forest is the last
Riparian restoration and protection of native flora and fauna that depend on this habitat are management priorities. Planting and maintaining cottonwood and willow trees, controlling saltcedar and reintroducing native fish are included in future plans. Returning the flows in the river to a more natural state which will better mimic historical conditions is the best management tool for restoring native flora and fauna. The refuge is an important part of the lower Colorado River Ecosystem as it contains the largest remaining cottonwood/willow stands in the ecosystem.
Over 275 bird species are found here. This includes southwestern willow flycatcher, vermilion flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, western tanagers, Lazuli bunting, Townsend's warbler, black-throated gray warbler. The Yuma clapper rail nests in the delta. Beaver, raccoon, bobcat, mountain lion, gray fox, javelina, mule-deer, desert bighorn sheep, ring-tailed cat are a few of the mammals found on the refuge. Razorback sucker and bonytail chub have been reintroduced in the delta.
Recreation - Recreational activities include wildlife viewing, hunting, boating and fishing.
Climate - Temperatures range from lows near 25 degrees F. in the months of December and January to highs that may exceed 115 degrees F. from July through September. Precipitation generally ranges from 2 to 8 inches per year.
From Lake Havasu City Arizona, follow Arizona Highway 95 south approximately 23 miles between mileposts 160 and 161.