- Ohio River islands and their back channels have long been recognized for high quality fish and wildlife, recreation, scientific, and natural heritage values.
The islands contain much of the remnant floodplain forest habitat which characterized the Ohio River valley prior to settlement by Europeans. The refuge protects significant terrestrial and aquatic habitat used by 45 species of freshwater mussels, 200 species of migratory birds, and over 50 species of native fish. Five federally listed species use the refuge habitats during the year. The Service has developed a public use program which includes an active volunteer program.
Recreation and Education - wildlife observation, study, photography; hunting - white-tailed deer, waterfowl and small game (permit required); fishing; environmental education by advance request; and boating.
Special Note: The refuge is open for day-use only. Only two islands have bridge access; all others are accessible only by boat. Contact the Refuge for island-specific information.
The Ohio River Islands NWR extends 362 river miles from Shippingport, PA to Manchester, OH along one of the nation's busiest waterways.