Obion Creek Wildlife Management Area, 1,637 acres out of 4,257 acres funded by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund.
The Obion Creek Watershed encompasses more than 206,108 acres in Graves, Hickman, Carlisle and Fulton Counties. Obion Creek is primarily spring fed and flows 48 miles where it merges with Bayou de Chien just north of Hickman and then discharges into the Mississippi River. This is one of five priority areas that are considered for protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because of its importance to migrating waterfowl. It is also important because it is one of the largest remaining tracts of wetland systems within the state as cypress-tupelo swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, bottomland hardwood swamp, shrub swamp and open marsh are found in addition to deep soil mesophytic forests. The area supports five state listed plants including the special concern rose turtlehead, and spinulose wood fern, and the state threatened rough pennyroyal, and ephiphytic sedge, and endangered blue-flowered coyote thistle. The southern twayblade, a historical species was also recorded from this area. In addition to the listed plants, three crustaceans, the endangered bleufer, and Texas liliput and special concern Cajun dwarf crayfish; seven fishes including the special concern chain pickerel, threatened taillight shiner, central mudminnow, and lake chubsucker, and endangered cypress minnow, dollar sunfish, and starhead topminnow; two amphibians the special concern bird-voiced treefrog and endangered three toed amphiuma; four reptiles included the special concern eastern ribbon snake and western mud snake, threatened southern painted turtle, and endangered green water snake; and three breeding birds, the great egret, fish crow and Mississippi kite can also be found in these habitats. 187 plants have been recorded in addition to 45 mammals, 40 reptiles, 30 amphibians and more than 200 birds. The bottomland hardwood swamp communities are dominated by green ash, sycamore, eastern cottonwood and American elm. Close to the stream corridor box elder, silver maple, and river birch are more common. Typical shrubs include buttonbush and Virginia willow. Bottomland hardwood forests are dominated by red maple, sweetgum, overcup, cherrybark and willow oak with a midstory of possumhaw and winged elm. The cypress-tupelo swamps are usually dominated by these two species with buttonbush, Virginia willow and swamp rose as a midstory but tupelo has not been documented at this location. The shrub swamp has a poor tree canopy and is dominated by buttonbush and Virginia willow. The deep mesophytic forests on the uplands are dominated by cherrybark oak, sweetgum, tuliptree, white and willow oak with a midwtory of American elm, sweetgum, flowering dogwood and red maple.
Management: Work on stream restoration, creation of shallow water impoundments, monitor rare plants and animals, work on exotics, particularly a planted stand of loblolly pine. At one tract, bottomland hardwoods is being planted in old agricultural fields.
The WMA is open for public recreation including hunting and may be accessed via county gravel roads although accessibility is limited and challenging. Open to hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and environmental education via foot traffic only. Parking is allowed at gated entrances and no ATV, horseback riding, camping, or open fires are allowed. To find the WMA travel from Milburn one mile west on KY 80 and turn onto CR1124 and go south for 0.8 miles to the parking area. To access the WMA on the south end, go south on KY 307 from the junction of KY 80 and 307. Please visit Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for maps and more information.