Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

chass nwrThis wildlife refuge has over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish bays at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River. It was established in 1943 to primarily benefit wintering waterfowl.

The refuge protects waterfowl habitat and is home to over 250 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 25 different species of mammals, including the endangered West Indian Manatee. Accessible only by boat.


  • Airboat Use
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating and Paddling
  • Fishing
  • Hunting

Be a volunteer

Support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by assisting in the conservation of our public lands and the protection of our natural wildlife resources and their habitat! For more information about volunteering at the Chassahowitzka NWR, go here »



The Chassahowitzka NWR is located 65 mi. north of Tampa. A county boat ramp, provides access for small boats to the Chassahowitzka River for a small fee. To get there take US-19 on Florida’s west coast to SR-480. Turn west on SR-480, and the boat ramp is at the end of the road. From here, you’ll paddle 3 mi. down river to the refuge.

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