Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge closes due to flood damage

Flooded Visitor Center at Swan Lake Wildlife Refuge

During the recent flood events on the Grand River, Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge has received substantial damages to the visitor facilities and other infrastructure. 

Swan Lake Washed Out Road
Swan Lake Washed Out Road

Until further notice, Swan Lake NWR will be closed to the public, with the exception of the Taylor Point Access.  Visitors can access the north end of Silver Lake for those wanting to access fishing or wildlife viewing and there is a primitive boat launch at Taylor Point to access Silver Lake for fishing.

Most of the public access roads have been washed out at numerous places and gravel has been washed away from many of the roads.  The Refuge Visitor Center and Headquarters Office were flooded and have been closed.  The refuge is in the process of setting up a temporary headquarters office in the old bunkhouse near the headquarters.  That will serve as the Headquarters until further decisions can be made on addressing the damages to the office/visitors center. 

Refuge staff from Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (Columbia) and Loess Bluffs NWR (Mound City) have been assisting with cleanup and repairs.  Swan Lake is also in the process of getting assistance from other refuges to assist in getting the roads repaired once things dry out enough.  Once all of the washouts are repaired, they hope to get gravel replaced on roads as soon as possible.  When the roads are deemed safe to travel they will re-open for public use as soon as possible. 

Swan Lake has also canceled the July First Friday event and are planning on making accommodations for the August First Friday if at all possible. 

If you have any questions please contact Refuge Manager Steve Whitson at 660-973-6349 or steve_whitson@fws.gov.