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Florida > Florida National Wildlife Refuges > Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
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Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Public Domain:  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Copyright: - US Fish and Wildlife Service
Public Domain: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Description - Located on the Gulf of Mexico, comprised of estuaries, brackish marshes and hardwood swamps, these 30,000 acres of low-lying ground support many threatened species. A variety of day use recreations are permitted including boating, hunting and wildlife viewing.

Attractions - The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge includes 30,500 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes with a fringe of hardwood swamps along the eastern boundary. The northern boundary parallels and includes much of the Homosassa River. The refuge extends southward across the scenic Chassahowitzka River for 12 miles to its southern boundary at Raccoon Point.

The refuge's diverse ecosystems, including prime estuarine habitat, is home for an incredible variety and abundance of flora and fauna. The marshlands, swamp lands, shallow bays and tidal streams provide both the quantity and quality of aquatic plant and animal life required to support a variety of animal species that depend on a marine environment.

The refuge is home to approximately 250 species of birds, more than 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 25 different species of mammals. Endangered and threatened species on the refuge include manatees, sea turtles, bald eagles and many others.

Recreation - The 30,000+ acres of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is a favorite among anglers, hunters, paddlesport enthusiasts and those wishing to see a large variety of wildlife and birdlife. Boating is permitted as well. Overnight camping may be found several miles east of the refuge at Citrus County Chassahowitzka River Campground. Call 352-382-2200 for details.

Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.

Location - The refuge is located about 65 miles north of St. Petersburg in Citrus and Hernando Counties. A series of low-lying wetlands and islands comprise the refuge's 30,000 acres.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Dennis Rehak
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: I am an avid paddler and decided to explore the many spring runs on the upper reaches of the river. Instead of swaying green grasses on the runs I was dismayed to discover that every inch of plant life and bottom was covered by some type of algae or slime that exploded into a cloud of effluent with every paddle stroke. Recent articles suggest that although the waters of this river are clear it is actually polluted by septic tank runoff from surrounding communitys. My suggestion for the next guy is paddle somewhere else

More Information

Contact Information:
Chassahowitzka NWR, 1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive , Crystal River, FL, 34429, Phone: 352-563-2088
, r4rw_fl.chs@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Central West Florida - Located several hours west of the popular Orlando theme park area, Central West Travel Region falls along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico offering a wonderful blend of cultural and natural attractions easily accessed from U.S. Highway 19.
Florida National Wildlife Refuges - The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife manage 21 wildlife refuges in Florida that reach nearly all corners of the state. The refuges protect and manage biological diverse habitat while offering an educational and recreational opportunity to the public.

Chassahowitzka NWR - Official agency website


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